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On Anatomical 



Until recent years the works of Galen, 
the greatest and most prolific medical 
writer of antiquity, were closed books to 
the modern reader. Professor Singer has 
now added another to the very few works 
of Galen which have been translated from 
the Greek into English. Galen's work 
entitled De anatomicis administrationihus is 
the text of lectures on anatomy delivered 
in Rome about a.d. 177. The Greek 
text was translated into Latin in 153 1, 
and in this form the work had a profound 
influence on Vesalius and other great 
Renaissance anatomists. Although Galen 
had some knowledge of human anatomy, 
especially of the bones, most of his dis^ 
section was done on the Rhesus monkey 
and the Barbary ape, in which many parts 
show marked differences from their 
human counterparts. Professor Singer has 
not only provided a scholarly translation 
of Galen's text, but he has also identic 
fied wherever possible the structures men^ 
tioned, and has attached to them their 
modern anatomical names. The book 
provides a basis for the study of the sources 
available for the foundation of modern 

The dissection scene on the front of this jacket 
illustrates Galen demonstrating on a pig. Itjirst 
appeared on the title page of the Giunta edition 
of Galen s Works, Venice 1541-2. 

^js. 6d. net 

Digitized by tlie Internet Arcliive 
in 2014 








{General Editor: Dr. E. Ashworth Underwood, 
Director of the Museum and Library) 

1. Charles Singer and C. Rabin: A Prelude to Modern 

Science: being a discussion of the History, Sources, and 
Circumstances of the Tabulae Anatomicae Sex of Vesalius. 
(Cambridge University Press, 1946) 

All the following published by the Oxford University Press: 

2. Barbara M. Duncum: The Development of Inhalation 

Anaesthesia, with special reference to the years 1846/1900. 

3. J. H. G. Grattan and Charles Singer: Anglos 

Saxon Magic and Medicine, illustrated especially from the 
semi'-pagan text 'Lacnunga'. (1952) 

4. Charles Singer: Vesalius on the Human Brain. (1952) 

5. F. N. L. Poynter: Catalogue of Incunabula in the 

Wellcome Historical Medical Library. (1953) 

6. A. D. Lacaille: The Stone Age in Scotland. (1953) 

7. Charles Singer: Galen On Anatomical Procedures, 

Translation of the surviving books with Introduction and 



TTspi AvaTOiJiiKCov Eyxeipriaecov 
De Anatomicis Administrationibus 







Oxford Unwersily Press, Amen House, London E.C. 4 


Geoffrey Ciimberlege, Publisher to the Universky 

Copyright of 

The Wellcome Historical Medical Museum 




I OFFER my grateful thanks to the Wellcome Trustees who 
have made this research possible for me. I am grateful also to 
the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum for publishing this 
work, and to the Wellcome Foundation for defraying the 
printing and publishing costs. Dr. E. Ashworth Underwood, 
Director of the Museum, has taken great interest in the work 
throughout and has made innumerable useful suggestions. 
I am very much obliged to Professor W. E. Le Gros Clark 
of Oxford for many hints. He has provided me with bodies 
of Rhesus monkeys, as have both Professor S. Zuckerman of 
Birmingham and the Zoological Society of London. My 
former pupil, Mr. Richard West of Clare College, Cambridge, 
has made many dissections for me which have been of the 
greatest use and have saved me much time. The editors and 
publishers of Professors Hartman and Straus's Anatomy of the 
Rhesus Monkey have graciously given me permission to use a 
large number of figures from that work. My debt to Mr. J. F. 
Grace and Professor Benjamin Farrington is acknowledged on 
p. XXV of the Introduction. To Professor A. J. E. Cave of St. 
Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College I am particularly 
indebted. He has read the proofs, and has acted as my mentor 
on anatomical matters. He has saved me from many errors, but 
those which will, in due course, be discovered by my critics 
are, I am quite sure, not of his but of my own making. I am 
very much obliged to Mr. C. A. Earnshaw for the immense 
amount of care which he has devoted to the preparation of 
the very full index. 

C. S. 





On Dissection in General and on Muscles and Ligaments of 
Upper Limh in particular 

1. Galen's Reasons for writing i 

2. How to study the Skeletons of Men and Apes 2 

3 . Distinctiveness of Muscles and Neglect of the Ancients in dissecting 5 


4. Certain of Galen's Differences from his Predecessors 9 

5. Muscles of Flexor Surface of Forearm 12 

6. Muscles of Extensor Surface of Forearm 17 

7. Origins of Wrist Muscles 19 

8. Insertions of Internal and External Muscles of Forearm 21 

9. Small Muscles of Hand 23 

10. Ligaments of Wrist and Hand 25 

11. Extensors and Flexors of Forearm 27 


On Muscles and Ligaments of Lower Limh 

1. Why the Ancients wrote no such Books 31 

2. The Particular Uses of Dissections 32 

3. Why Anatomy is neglected or mistaught 34 

4. Muscles of the Thigh inserted on the Tihia 36 


5. Muscles moving the Knee-joint 41 

6. Muscles of the Hip 43 

7. Muscles of the Leg 48 

8. Muscles arising from the Fibula 51 

9. Muscles of the Foot unknown to Galen s Predecessors 5 3 

10. Some Ligaments of Leg and Foot 55 

11. On the Nails 57 


NerveSy Veins, and Arteries of Hand and Foot 

1. Need for Anatomy of Surgically Accessible Parts 60 

2. Precautions in removing the Skin 63 

3 . Nerves in Upper Arm 65 

4. Nerves to Forearm and Hand 70 

5. Veins of Axilla and Arm 74 

6. Venesection 77 

7. Deep Veins of Forearm 79 

8. Deep Arteries mid Veins of Arm 79 

9. On the Care needed in investigating Nerves and Vessels 81 

10. Nerves in the Thigh 83 

11. Nerves of Leg and Foot 86 

12. The Two Veins of the. Leg 87 

13. Arteries of Lower Limb 89 


Muscles of Face, Head, Neck, and Shoulders 

1. Function and Order of Anatomical Works 91 

2. The Five Kinds of Muscles of the Mouth 93 


3. The Six Kinds of Quadrupeds, The Lips and their Movements. 97 

4. Masticatory Muscles 100 

5. Discussion of Eyemuscles postponed 104 

6. Muscles of Forehead and Neck, and Movers of the Head 104 

7. Four Small Muscles behind the Skull and on the First Two Vertex 

hrae 109 

8. Movements of First and Second Vertebrae 112 

9. Muscles uniting the Skull with Sternum and Clavicle 114 

10. Muscles which move the Scapula 115 

11. The Twin Muscles that open the Mouth 118 


Muscles of Thorax, Abdomen, Loins, and Spine 

1. Muscles uniting Thorax to Humerus and Scapula 120 

2. Shoulder Muscles 124 

3. Muscles moving the Thorax 127 

4. The Intercostal Muscles 131 

5. The Diaphragm 13 3 

6. The Abdominal Muscles 1 3 3 

7. The Abdominal Muscles continued I37 

8. The Diaphragm again 140 

9. The Lumbar Muscles i43 

10. The Intrinsic Spinal Muscles 145 

On the Alimentary Organs 

1. Principles of Comparative Anatomy 147 

2. The Three Kinds of Alimentary Organs 150 


3. The Three Grades of Digestion in Different Animals 152 

4. The Peritoneum 154 

5. The Great Omentum and Other Abdominal Structures 156 

6. The Peritoneum again 160 

7. Coats of Stomach and Intestines 161 

8. The Liver 162 

9. The Intestines 163 

10. The Spleen 164 

11. Vessels of the Liver 165 

12. The Bile Ducts 166 

13. Kidneys and Ureters 167 

14. Muscles which retain or expel Excrement 169 

Heart, Lungs, and Arteries 

1. Organs of Respiration 172 

2. The Pleura 173 

3. Views on the Pericardium 175 

4. Views on the Functions of the Lungs 175 

5. Coats of Veins and Arteries 178 

6. The Great Vessels 179 

7. HetTJ'^ 180 

8. Substance and Motion of the Heart 181 

9. Vessels and Valves of the Heart 184 

10. The Coronary Arteries and the Heart^one 186 

11. Ventricles and Orifices of the Heart 188 

12. Vivisection of Heart and Lungs 190 

13. A Slave cured in whom the Sternum was excised 192 


14. Conclusions from Vivisection of Thorax 193 

15. Movement of the Heart investi^gated 196 

16. Against the View that Arteries are Empty 197 


The Remaining Thoracic Organs 

1. The Rihs and Boundaries of the Thorax 201 

2. Some Errors as to the Movement of the Chest 203 

3. Results of cutting the Intercostal Muscles 205 

4. Results of injuring the Intercostal Nerves 208 

5. Control of Thoracic Movements 211 

6. Operations on the Spinal Cord 214 

7. Operations involving Loss of Voice 215 

8. Further Experiments to illustrate Thoracic Movements 218 

9. Transverse Sections of Spinal Cord 221 
10. How to see the Site and Movement of the Pleura 222 

On the Brain 

1. Dissecting the Brain 226 

2. Membranes and Veins of Brain 229 

3. Chorioid Plexus and Pineal Gland 231 

4. The Fornix 233 

5. Corpora Quadrigemina and Vermis 236 



INDEX 279 


(See note on p. 255) 

{All the figures refer to the Rhesus monkey, except where otherwise stated) 

Fig. I. Distribution of the Rhesus monkey. 

Fig. 2. Skull of Barbary ape. 

Fig. 3. Skull of Colobus monkey. 

Fig. 4. Skull of Mandrill. 

Fig. 5. Female pelvis, anterior view. 

Fig. 6. Distal end of right radius, showing grooves for extensor muscles. 

Fig. 7. Upper end of human femur, contrasting with that of the 
Barbary ape. 

Fig. 8. Panniculus carnosus, and digitations of the serratus anterior 

Fig. 9. Pectoral and abdominal muscles. 

Fig. to. Extrinsic back muscles. 

Fig. I I. Superficial facial muscles. 

Fig. 12. Superficial facial muscles from below. 

Fig. 13. Muscles of the head, neck, and thorax. 

Fig. 14. Superficial palmar muscles. 

Fig. 15. Deeper palmar muscles. 

Fig. 16. Muscles of the right thigh, medial view. 

Fig. 17. Muscles of the right hip and thigh, lateral view. 

Fig. 18. Right femoral artery and branches; arteries of dorsum of foot 

Fig. 19. Superficial plantar muscles. 

Fig. 20. Deeper plantar muscles. 

Fig. 2 1. Right lung with separated azygos lobe. 

Fig. 22. The rectum. 

Fig. 23. Diagram of right brachial plexus. 

Fig. 24. Diagram of lumbo^sacral plexus. 

Fig. 25. Lower's diagram of the posterior cerebral sinuses in man. 

Fig. 26. Diagram of fourth ventricle and neighbouring parts in man 
to illustrate the calamus scriptorius. 


The reader has before him a translation of lectures, accompany^ 
ing demonstrations on anatomy and physiology, delivered in 
the Greek language at Rome in the year a.d. 177. I believe 
that the text was taken down in shorthand and that it repeats 
substantially the actual words of Galen. There is no comparable 
work in ancient literature. The experiments recorded are among 
those that determined a physiological standpoint which was 
not improved upon for 1450 years, that is until Harvey pub^ 
lished his results in 1628. Moreover, this book by Galen has 
a special place in the modern revival of anatomy, since it was 
study of the Latin translation of it, published by Guenther of 
Andernach in 153 1, that started Vesalius on his triumphant 
career. This, culminating in his Fahrica of 1543, ushered in 
modern anatomy and did much to determine the line of 
development of the biological sciences. 

It is not necessary to tell here the life of Galen. For that 
the reader may turn to the scholarly contribution of Professor 
Mewald in a supplementary volume of Pauly/Wissowa*s great 
classical encyclopaedia, or to the pleasant series by the late 
Dr. Joseph Walsh in the Annals of Medical History (i 93 4-9)* 
or to Professor George Sarton's Galen of Pergamon (1954). These 
provide ample bibliographies. But a chronological list of events 
may be useful. 

A.D. 129-30. Galen was born at Pergamum, an important centre of 
Hellenistic culture in Asia Minor, 46 miles due north of Smyrna. 
His father was a distinguished architect. Galenos means *calm' and 
was a given name. No other name for him is known: that of 
* Claudius* is fictitious. 

144. Began study of philosophy at Pergamum. 

147. Began study of medicine at Pergamum, learning anatomy from 

150. Father died. He seems to have left Galen ample means. 



151. Visited Smyrna to study anatomy under the Dogmatist Pelops. In 
this year he wrote his earliest work that has survived. The original 
Greek is lost but it has come down to us in an Arabic version which 
has been translated into English by Dr. R. Walzer, as Galen on 
Medical Experiencey Oxford, 1944. 

152. Went to Corinth to study anatomy under Numisianus who, he 
found, had moved to Alexandria. Thither Galen followed him and 
remained for some years. 

157. Returned from Alexandria to Pergamum, possibly owing to his 
mother's death and to attend to his estate. Was appointed physician 
to the gladiators. 

c. 159. Discovered action of recurrent laryngeal nerves and respiratory 
action of thoracic muscles. 

161. The Emperor Antoninus Pius died and Marcus Aurelius suc^ 
ceeded him. 

162. Left Pergamum. After visiting Greece, reached Rome and settled 
in practice. 

164. Became acquainted with Flavins Boethus and Sergius Paulus, and 
made anatomical demonstrations for them. Proved that arteries 
contain blood, not air. 

165. Boethus appointed Governor of Palestine. 

166. Visited various parts of Greece and settled again in Pergamum. 
During his stay there he visited Palestine and Cyprus. 

168. Recalled by Emperor Marcus Aurelius to Aquileia in Venetia to 
deal with plague in the army. 

169. Marcus Aurelius and Galen return to Rome. Galen appointed 
physician to Commodus, son of Marcus. Sergius Paulus became 
Prefect of Rome and thus gave Galen another friend at court. 

169-75. Spent these years supervising the health of Commodus at the 
Emperor's palace at Laurium, 12 miles north of Rome, at Lanuvium 
in the Alban hills, 20 miles south of Rome, and at Ostia at the 
mouth of the Tiber. This period was his most fruitful for scientific 
writing. He produced On the Natural Faculties^ On Respiration, and 
his great treatise On the uses of the parts of the hody, as well as other 

175. Commodus joined his father in the East and both returned to Rome, 
where Galen had again settled in practice. 



176-7. Became physician to the Emperor. Began to give public lectures 
on anatomy in Rome. The present work is probably expanded 
from a shorthand record of a series of these. 

178. Marcus Aurelius died. 

179. Visited Athens and Pergamum and returned to Rome with his 

180. Commodus became Emperor. 

192. Commodus assassinated. Pertinax Emperor. 

193. Pertinax assassinated. Septimus Severus Emperor. 

197. Finished his last major work, Methodus medendi. 

198. Compiled the catalogue of his own works. 
199? 200 ; 201 ? Died. 

It may be handy for the reader to have here some information 
concerning the so/called *Schools' or 'Sects' of medicine. 
These bulk largely in older histories of the subject and they 
certainly did form a feature in the medical world of Imperial 
Rome. Nevertheless, the separateness of these 'attitudes toward 
practice' — for that is all that they were — has been much over/ 
emphasized in text/books and dictionaries. This tendency was 
encouraged by the view, which must now be abandoned, that 
these Schools arose as heresies from a pure and primitive 
*Hippocratic' original. Modern critical scholarship, in dispos/ 
ing of this pristine orthodoxy as a myth, thus necessarily softens 
the distinctions between the later heresies. Nevertheless, in 
Galen's time there were fairly apparent four ways of thinking 
about medicine which may be taken as representing the some-' 
what over/ written Schools. 

The Pneumatic School was the most philosophical and its 
views accorded with those of Stoic thought. It flourished as early 
as the beginning of the first century A.D., and traces of it are 
possibly discernible in both Philo and the fourth Gospel. The 
representative medical Pneumatist was Archigenes of Apamea 
in Syria, who practised in Rome in the time of the Emperor 
Trajan (a.d. 98-117). Some of his works survive, translated 
into a *Hippocratic' dialect by Aretaeus of Cappadocia 

B 2353 b 



during the lifetime of Galen. The Stoics in general, and Galen 
and the Pneumatists in particular, believed in a general worlds 
pneuma which all living beings share, as is manifested by 
their breathing. The physiology of Galen, based on this view, 
I have set out in my translation of Vesalius on the Human Brain 
(London, O.U.P., 1952). 

The Methodist School had, as traditional founder, Asclepi/ 
ades of Bythinia (c. iio-c. 40 B.C.) who practised in Rome and, 
like Lucretius, was an adherent of the Epicurean or atomistic 
philosophy. He thus held that the body consisted of *atoms*. 
These, he considered, move in *pores' which penetrate all parts 
of the body. Disease results from relaxation or constriction of 
these pores and treatment should be directed at counteracting 
this looseness or tension. The typical Methodist physician was 
Soranus who practised in Rome under Hadrian (a.d. 98-1 3 8). 
The greatest work of Soranus survives in a Latin version of the 
fourth to fifth century bearing the name of Caelius Aurelianus. 

Dogmatist is a term, perhaps introduced by Galen himself, 
to describe a certain medical group which emphasized theoretic 
principles. While accepting anatomical knowledge as neces/ 
sary, it laid a stress on unseen entities and causes. Dogma 
means only 'doctrine' and the word 'dogmatic' had not then 
acquired any pejorative meaning. Applied to a school of 
medical thinkers it might perhaps be translated as 'ratioci native', 
*given to theoretical reasoning'. Their best representative is held 
to be Celsus. The Dogmatists considered medicine under five 
heads: Physiology, Aetiology, Hygiene, Semiotics, and 
Therapeutics. They might be described as men of the 'middle 
way' between Pneumatists and Methodists. The putative 
father of Dogmatism is Diodes of Carystos (fourth century 


The Empirics formed a group of non^thinkers, rather than a 
school of thought. Rejecting theory, or disliking the effort of 
understanding it, they relied solely on personal experience. 
They distrusted anatomy of the dead body and were content to 
acquire anatomical knowledge in the course of their surgical 



practice. In the work of Galen which follows, the reader will 
frequently encounter the Empirics whom he roundly dislikes. 

The number of Schools might be multiplied by adding 
Sceptics, who doubted the conclusions of one School, or another, 
or all, and Eclectics, who chose doctrines from several Schools. 
Again it is possible to distinguish intermediate Schools as those 
between the Empiric and Dogmatic. Such distinctions would 
lead to no further understanding of ancient medicine since they 
would always lead back to Galen's own judgements. For in 
truth Galen's works are of such overwhelming mass that we 
are almost forced to look at the medicine of his age through his 
eyes. We might fairly describe him as a member of the 
Pneumatist School with leanings toward the Dogmatic. 

Forgetting the classical jargon about Schools, the history of 
Greek medicine may be sketched as having taken a much 
simpler and more natural course than has been generally sug^ 
gested. The *Hippocratic' physicians before Alexandrian times 
based their knowledge of disease direcdy on observation of the 
sick. When concerned with the theoretical causes of disease 
they were mostly content with the ancient views of elements, of 
humours, and of the 'epidemic constitution' of the seasons. 
Their ignorance of anatomy, both human and animal, was 
fairly comprehensive, though they had some knowledge of the 
structure of the parts concerned in the commoner dislocations. 

With the establishment of Alexandria as a medical teaching 
centre by the Ptolemies, about 300 B.C., there was a real change. 
The best medical outlook began now to be based on anatomy. 
The distinction from one another of the so/called Schools or 
Sects depended basically on their attitude to anatomical 
knowledge. For the next 500 years — from Herophilus and 
Erasistratus to Galen (and for that matter on to the present 
day) — the great majority of practical medical men, their trains 
ing once over, relied for their judgement of disease and for 
their choice of treatment on tradition fortified or occasionally 
modified by personal experience. The rare few, among whom 
were Herophilus, Erasistratus, and Galen, influenced the 



medical traditions of their day in the same sense that physio^ 
logists, pathologists, and epidemiologists influence ours. 
Schools differed from each other in the degree to which they 
were able to absorb this new science, that is, in effect, on their 
understanding and acceptance of the results of practical 
anatomy and experimental physiology. Of those two dis^ 
ciplines the work before the reader is one of the most important 
survivors from antiquity. 

I must say a little on the difficulties, other than linguistic, 
that have confronted me in the work of translation. Of these 
I would treat three in descending order of gravity. They are (a) 
lack of technical vocabulary; (h) false physiological concepts; 
(c) ascription to man of anatomical features of other animals. 

(a) Lack of technical vocabulary. The Greeks, unlike ourselves, 
had no classical language from which to draw scientific terms. 
These they made either by combinations of words, or by giving 
ordinary words a special meaning, or by using short descriptive 
clauses. Taking examples from our text, one illustrative of 
the first method is perikranion, *around the cranium'; of 
the second is konarion, *cone/shaped thing', pineal gland; 
of the third is o Tou brachionos prosthios mys, the 
anterior muscle of the arm', biceps. Manifesdy these terms 
were far less distinctive for Greek speakers than are their 
equivalents for English speakers. It is especially for the descrip/ 
tion of muscles, vessels, and nerves that the text presents 
difficulties to the translator. The obstacles to understanding for 
those ancient readers who did not dissect and had no anatomical 
figures were insuperable. Until modern times, and until the 
revival of the practice of dissection and the introduction of 
representational art, the anatomical works of Galen were almost 

(h) False physiological concepts. Certain of Galen's theoretical 
concepts present the translator with special obstacles. Examples 
of three may suffice. 

I. The veins are described as arising from the liver and pro/ 



ceeding peripherally, that is the reverse way to that adopted by 
a modern anatomist. Incidentally the pulmonary artery is, for 
Galen, the 'arterial vein and the pulmonary vein the 'venous 
artery'. The trachea is a special kind of artery. 

2. Even greater difficulty arises from his theory of the nature 
of nerves. Galen saw that a nerve, neuron, passes into each 
muscle and that it then divides. Knowing that many muscles 
end in a whitish tendon, he thought that the branches of the 
nerves had reunited within the muscle to form this tendon, 
which he naturally also called neuron. 

3. Again, Galen ascribed various fictitious activities to 
parts of the brain, notably to the infundibulum and the pineal 
gland. Fortunately, or rather unfortunately, this particular 
difficulty seldom arises for our text, since most of the section 
that deals with the brain is missing. 

(c) Ascription to man of anatomical features of animals, Galen 
had perhaps some slight direct knowledge of human anatomy, 
certainly of the bones. This text is, in general however, a 
description of the soft parts of the ape imposed on the skeleton 
of man. For the gluteal region and the pelvis the misfit is of 
a gross order. For the hand and arm, to which the modern 
anatomist will think Galen gives quite undue attention, the 
difference is less, though there are many divergent details. The 
hand of the Barbary ape happens to differ from that both of 
man and of the Rhesus monkey in that the fourth finger instead 
of the third is the longest and most powerful. This is a very 
obvious difference. That Galen does not refer to it in this text 
itself suggests to the translator that he was working mainly on 
Rhesus. This is the more remarkable in that Galen is, as we 
might say, almost a 'specialist' on the hand. He uses that member 
to illustrate his teleological views and the early part of his De 
usu partium might be described as a long hymn to the Divine 
Wisdom in fitting the hand for its functions. 

The translation which follows needs litde commentary. 
Galen's great text/book of Physiology and Anatomy is his De 



usu partium which was completed by a.d. 175. It is a com^ 
prehensive theoretical treatise and is being translated into 
English by Mrs. May of Cornell University. The De anatomicis 
admimstrationihus, which is presented here, is a practical work. 
It describes the actual procedure of dissection and of physio/ 
logical experiment. I believe that it is a shorthand record of 
actual lectures, though doubtless lightly revised by its author. 
If so, it is unique as the record of the actual words used in the 
lectures of a teacher in antiquity. 

The text is in a tolerable state, despite long neglect and the 
absence of any effective editing since 1541. My translation is 
based on the edition of Kiihn as being by far the most con-' 
venient. The relevant section (vol. ii, pp. 215-731) of his Opera 
omnia of Galen dates from 1821 and there is no later edition. 
Despite the many aspersions on Kiihn's text, I have found very 
few misprints and no large number of passages either gram^' 
matically or anatomically unintelligible. This, however, is no 
merit of Kiihn, for both his Greek version and its accompany^ 
ing Latin rendering are taken bodily from vol. IV of the 
immense production of Rene Chartier (1572-1654), which 
contains all the works ascribed to both Hippocrates and Galen 
and was issued at Paris in thirteen folio volumes between 1639 
and 1679. Nor must great credit be given to Chartier for the 
state of this work. The Greek text in Chartier's edition was 
taken direct from that of the Opera omnia Galeni, which Andreas 
Cratander issued in five folio volumes at Basel in 1538. The 
Cratander Greek text was prepared for the press byjohan Kam^ 
mermeister (Camerarius, 1500-74), Leonhard Fuchs (1501- 
66), and Jerome Geschmauss (Gemusaeus, 1505-43), all 
scholars of high standing. The Latin version of Galen On ana^ 
tomical procedures of Chartier is taken from that of the Giunta 
edition of Galen's works. It is that of Johannes Guenther of 
Andernach (1487-1574), published originally at Paris in 
15 3 1, revised by Vesalius, and edited by Agostino Gadaldino 
for the Giunta (Venice) edition of 1541 and for the verbally 
identical Froeben (Basel) edition of 1542. 



Thus in the early sixteenth century this Greek text and its 
Latin translation occupied several men of great and exact 
learning. It is doubtful whether there are any important manu/ 
scripts of it that were not accessible to them. For what modern 
scientific scholarship can do for it, we must wait until Greek 
specialists see fit to turn from their other activities, often over/ 
exercised on familiar grounds, to topics in more urgent need of 
attention. But as regards the Greek of this particular work, to 
me it seems remarkable that it should have emerged in rela/ 
tively so good a state. Between Galen s death and the issue of 
the first (Cratander) printing of the Greek text in 1538 there 
was no dissection in the Greek/speaking East, and therefore no 
one could have understood it. To the scribes who wrote the 
manuscripts it was certainly quite unintelligible. The publica/ 
tion of Guenther's Latin translation in 15 31 and the revival of 
dissection in Italy and France in the sixteenth century gave it, at 
last, some real meaning. 

Galen based this work chiefly on the anatomy of apes. He 
evidently had no difficulty in getting large numbers of them 
and he knew many different kinds. He advised the use of *those 
most like man' and, attaching importance to the absence of a 
tail, preferred the Barbary ape.* This creature was, however, 
never as common or as widespread as the Rhesus monkey 
(Fig. i), which is smaller and is much easier to handle. For this 
and for other reasons I think that Galen must often have used 
Rhesus monkeys. Thus his very extensive descriptions of the 
hand accord better with that of the Rhesus than that of the 
larger animal (p. xix). I have dissected the Rhesus which is 
much more accessible, and here use illustrations of its parts. 
Galen dissected many other animals also. In this book he 
mentions pigs, especially for experiments on the breathing and 
vocal apparatus and on the spinal cord, other ungulates for the 
brain, and one elephant. 

Had Galen any knowledge by dissection of the structure of 
* It should be understood that he knew nothing of the anthropoids. 



the human body? I have thought much on this topic and have 
several times changed my views but now think that he had 
such knowledge. The matter requires some consideration. 

Objection to dissection is neither of philosophical origin nor 
perhaps is it based on 'religion', as that word is understood in 
our society. Even the least reflective must be aware that after 
death the body is dissolved into its elements. The objection is 
not of rational origin at all. The fear and disgust aroused by a 
dead body are linked to age/old chains of awareness and of 
feelings that go far beyond and are far deeper than any formal 
belief or reason. Medical men know too well that the processes 
of post/mortem examination have to be hidden and can hardly 
be spoken of beyond the professional circle. We cannot suppose 
that it would have been otherwise in the days of Galen. What 
he may have said about human dissection he would not have 
wished or allowed to pass into 'publication', even in the 
limited sense in which that word can be used of his age. Can 
we then anywhere read between the lines of Galen's text ? Does 
he ever betray that he has a knowledge of points in human 
anatomy reached by direct contact with the object ? I now think 
the answer should be *Yes'. 

There is no evidence that Galen or any other of the ancients 
appreciated the value of graphic methods in anatomy. He never 
indicates that he used figures in our sense of the word and he 
very seldom employed even diagrams. In two cases in this 
book he does refer to diagrams which can be reconstructed 
(pp. 28, 105) but, except for them, he avoids graphic methods 
here, though it would seem to us that figures are demanded. In 
their absence the three/dimensional impression created by view^ 
ing and handling the dissected part is the only way in which the 
relations of organs, tissues, and vessels to one another can be 
memorized or even grasped. Galen repeatedly urges dissection 
and the handling of dissected parts and suggests from time_to 
time that they should be human. 

There are a number of passages in this book which, read 
together, yield the impression that Galen knew more about 



human anatomy than he cared to have written down. The 
reader should study in succession the following passages: 

Page 3, paragaph 2, to page 7, end of paragraph i. 

Page 31, paragraph i, to page 36, end of paragraph 2. 

Page 39, paragraph 3, to page 40, end of paragraph i. 

Page 51, paragraph 3, to page 52, end of paragraph i. 

Page 163, paragraph 2, to end of paragraph 5. 

And others given in Index under *Galen, human anatomy'. 

It may be that there are many comparable passages in other 
works of Galen. Mrs. Frederic May of Cornell University 
draws my attention to one in the De usu partium (vi. 4; K. iii. 
423). Here Galen had been discussing the varying number of 
lobes of the lungs in different animals, and he says: *If death 
come not to me too soon, I shall some day explain construction 
in animals too, dissecting them in detail, just as I have done for 

Galen's anatomical and physiological lectures — for such they 
are — reveal a vivid and understandable personality. He is an 
enthusiast for his subject, of great industry, ardent for the 
experimental method, and full of anger against those who do not 
appreciate it. On the other hand, he is arrogant, self/centred, 
contentious, and a wearisome word^'Splitter, once his argu^ 
mentative tendencies are roused. One would naturally think 
that, with his manipulative skill and his desire to impart both 
his knowledge and his method, he could not fail to have many 
pupils. Several times he refers to these and to his way of instruct^ 
ing them. It would be quite understandable if he had had 
successors and followers. Yet it was not so. When he died 
experimental science too fell dead. Galen was heir to 500 years 
of physiological research. How was it that all this hoarded 
physiological wisdom of antiquity came to this sudden dramatic 
end? This question may perhaps one day be profitably discussed 
but hardly until the main writings of Galen himself are pre/ 
sented in a form that can be easily studied. 

Galen presents at times — though at times only— a very 



modern attitude to research. But it would mislead the reader 
grossly if this Introduction were to leave him with the impress* 
sion that this attitude was quite typical of the man. He showed 
himself not seldom to be gullible and superstitious, and some/ 
times, as it must seem to us nowadays, merely foolishly em/ 
pirical. He mixed moral judgements and personal animosities 
with his science in a way which would now be thought scienti^ 
fically indecent. His methods of controversy are detestable. His 
experiments, though often very well designed, were not accom/ 
panied by controls — a procedure almost unknown in antiquity. 

The very bulk of Galen's writings cuts us off from adequate 
historical judgement of his predecessors. His surviving medical 
works are more voluminous than those of all earlier physicians. 
He is obviously the heir to a long line of experimental research 
and it is possible that some of his predecessors were as good or 
better men of science than he. He is far from generous in his 
acknowledgements. At any rate, if we would form a true 
picture of Galen, we must remember that he was a contentious, 
verbose, acrimonious fellow and that his science was but one side 
of him. His best thought-out and scientifically most complete 
work is his De usu partium. His Anatomical Procedures, here pre/ 
sentedj has less literary and philosophic merit but has the unique 
distinction of preserving the very words of an ancient teacher. 

It is necessary to explain how this translation has been 
evolved. It has occupied a part of my time, on and off, for fifteen 
years. At first I prepared a quite literal translation, with the 
help of the late Miss Margaret Meldrum, of Somerville College, 
Oxford. I worked on this at intervals for some years while I was 
studying the anatomy of the Rhesus monkey and improving my 
knowledge of medical Greek. Gradually nearly every sentence in 
the book began to take rational form and to assume anatomical 
intelligibility. This naturally involved endless adjustment of the 
English against the Greek. The passages that remain untrans/ 
latable are almost certainly corrupt. Some unintelligible passages 
proved, on long examination, to be merely displaced. 



When I had at last got the English text into a generally 
intelligible form, I invoked the aid of my friend and neighs 
hour, Mr. J. F. Grace, late of King's College, Cambridge, and 
Eton College. Together we revised the translation, sentence by 
sentence. I am most grateful for his help. I have also received 
much kind assistance, especially for Books VIII and IX, 
from Professor Benjamin Farrington of University College, 

A few words on the text as here presented. The arrangement 
of the Books is less haphazard than it seems, if the standpoint 
of Galen be kept in mind. Book I, after four introductory 
chapters, launches into Galen's favourite theme of the muscular 
construction of the hand and forearm, as a specially favourable 
demonstration of the Divine plan, which is fundamental for his 
philosophy. Book II is devoted to the structures of the leg and 
foot which afford parallels to those of hand and forearm. In 
Book III the vessels and nerves of both arm and leg substantia 
ally complete the treatment of the limbs. In Book IV the muscles 
in the head, shoulder, and neck, and in Book V those in the 
torso are treated. Books VI, VII, and VIII deal with the organs 
which illustrate Galen's physiological scheme and the evidence 
on which that scheme is based. Of Book IX, devoted to the 
brain, only a fragment of the original Greek remains. 

An Arabic translation of the whole work survives. This is 
important for Books X to XV, which are wanting in the 
Greek. These six missing Books, together with Book IX, have 
been rendered into German from the Arabic, with valuable 
introductory matter, by Max Simon, Siehen Bucher Anatomie 
des Galen, Leipzig, 1906. They were also translated into French 
by G. Dugat about 1850. Dugat's version is unpublished but 
exists in a very legible manuscript now in the library of the Royal 
College of Physicians of London. I have not included these 
*lost' Books in my version because, being unknown to scholars 
till the nineteenth century, they had no influence on the history 
of anatomy or physiology. The Arabic version of the first nine 
Books, however, might well throw light on difficult or corrupt 



passages in the Greek text and would be worth investigation 
for that reason. I have published a note on Dugat's manuscript 
in the Journal of the History of Medicine, vol. vii, p. 85, New 
York, 1952. 

I have recendy learned that the first nine Books were trans^ 
lated from Greek into French by the physician and botanist 
Jacques Dalechamps (151 3-1588) of Lyons. I have not seen 
this extremely rare book. It was printed by Pierre Roussin and 
published by Benoist Rigaud at Lyons in 1572. The only copies 
I have traced are a copy recorded by Graesse, and copies in 
the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, the Gushing Collection, 
Yale University, and the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow Uni^' 
versity. The Hunterian Catalogue gives the date of publication 
as 1573, but Mr. R. O. MacKenna, the Librarian, to whom 
I am indebted for details of the copy, considers that the final 
*J' in the date is a later addition. An edition of 1566, men^ 
tioned by certain biographers, is probably a ghost. 

The following typographical devices are adopted here: 

Greek words are normally spelt in Latin capitals. 

Proper names are given in Latinized form. 

Titles of Greek books are given their conventional Latin 

My own emendations of the Greek text are indicated at the 
foot of the relevant pages. Omissions are indicated in 
the text and/or at the foot of the relevant pages. 

Explanatory passages or words added by me to the translation 
are printed within square brackets. Passages or words in 
round brackets are translated from the original but are either 
scribal additions or additions added by Galen himself as 
afterthoughts. Modern anatomical terms for structures 
described by Galen are usually added to the text in italics 
enclosed within square brackets. 

The division into Books is the work of Galen himself The 
tides of Books and Chapters have no manuscript authority 
but follow roughly the indications of the Renaissance 


[On Dissection in General and on Muscles and 
Ligaments of Upper Limb in Particular] 

Chapter i 

[Galen s Reasons for writing] 
Anatomical procedure was the subject of a previous work 215 
written on my coming to Rome [a.d. 162] not long since. That 
was at the beginning of the reign of our present Emperor, 
Antoninus^ [reigned 161-80]. I have now resolved to write 
again on the subject, for two reasons. Firstly because Flavins 
Boethus, the Roman Consul,^ as keen an anatomist as ever 
lived, on leaving Rome for his native Ptolemais [a.d. 165], 
urged me to record these 'procedures'. I gave him, among 216 
other works, my De anatomicis administrationihus lihri duo.^ These 
were of notes [only] for, while he was with us [162-5], he had 
made many observations in a short time and had asked me for 
some such records as memoranda. But since he is now dead"^ 
and I have no copies (for those I had in Rome were destroyed 
by fire), at the urging of friends I decided to write others to 
give them. I was the more inclined thereto because the work 
would be much better composed, for meanwhile I have made 
many new observations. For clarity it is enlarged into a more 
detailed and accurate account. 

While Boethus was still in Rome, I wrote De Hippocratis et 
Erasistrati anatomice,^ and also De vivorum dissectione^ with De 21J 
mortuoYum dissectione'^ and added De causis respirationis^ and De 
voce,^ When he left I was engaged on a long work, De usu 
partium lihri XVII.^^ This finished, I sent it to Boethus, then 
still alive. 

De thoracis et pulmonis motu lihri tres^^ I wrote long ago, 
as a youth. It was for a fellow^student, returning to his own 
country after a long absence. He wished to display his talents 

B. 2353 B 



in public, but lacked lecturing ability. He, too, died and thus 
this book became public property, so that many got hold of it, 
though it was not for publication. I had indeed written it while 
still in Smyrna, to be with Pelops,^^ my teacher after Satyrus^^ 
the pupil of Quintus,^'^ before I had made any important or 
original contribution. 
Later I went to Corinth [a.d. 152], to hear Numisianus^^ 
218 the most famous pupil of Quintus. Then I visited Alexandria 
[152-7] and several other places where I heard that Numisianus 
was living. Next I went home, but after no long time came to 
Rome [162], where I made many anatomical demonstrations 
for Boethus. He was constandy accompanied by Eudemus the 
Peripatetic,^^ by Alexander of Damascus,^'^ official exponent of 
Peripatetic doctrines in Athens, and often by other important 
officials, such as Sergius Paulus the Consul, present Governor 
of Rome,^^ a man as distinguished in philosophy as in affairs. 
But the treatise that I wrote for Boethus falls far short in lucidity 
and accuracy of what I propose now. And so to the opening. 

Chapter 2 

[How to study the Skeletons of Men and Apes] 

218 As poles to tents and walls to houses, so are bones to living 
creatures, for other features naturally take form from them and 

2ip change with them. If an animal has a round skull, its brain 
must be round; if elongated, so must the brain be. If jaws be 
small and face oval, the muscles must correspond. So too, if 
jaws be large, the creature will have a great muzzle with muscles 
in keeping. Now of all living things the ape is likest man in 
viscera, muscles, arteries, veins, and nerves, as in the form of 
the bones. From the nature of these it walks on two legs and 
uses its fore^limbs as hands, and has the flattest sternum of all 
quadrupeds, and clavicles similar to man's, and a round face 
with narrow neck. With these characters its muscles must 
accord, for they are extended over the bones, reproducing their 



size and shape [Figs. 2-4]. So also arteries, veins, and nerves 220 
conform to the bones. 

Since, therefore, the form of the body is assimilated to the 
bones, to vv^hich the nature of the other parts corresponds, I 
would have you first gain an exact and practical knowledge of 
human bones. It is not enough to study them casually or read 
of them only in a book: No, not even in mine, which some 
call Osteologia, others Skeletons y and yet others simply On 
Bones though I am persuaded that it excels all earlier works 
in accuracy, brevity, and lucidity. 

Make it rather your serious endeavour not only to acquire 
accurate book^knowledge of each bone but also to examine 
assiduously with your own eyes the human bones themselves. 
This is quite easy at Alexandria because the physicians there 
employ ocular demonstration in teaching osteology to stu-^ 
dents.^^ For this reason, if for no other, try to visit Alexandria. 221 
But if you cannot, it is still possible to see something of human 
bones. I, at least, have done so often on the breaking open of a 
grave or tomb. Thus once a river, inundating a recent hastily 
made grave, broke it up, washing away the body. The flesh 
had putrefied, though the bones still held together in their 
proper relations. It was carried down a stadium and, reaching 
marshy ground, drifted ashore. This skeleton was as though 
deliberately prepared for such elementary teaching. And on 
another occasion we saw the skeleton of a brigand, lying on 
rising ground a litde off the road. He had been killed by some 
traveller repelling his attack. The inhabitants would not bury 
him, glad enough to see his body consumed by the birds which, 
in a couple of days, ate his flesh, leaving the skeleton as if for 

If you have not the luck to see anything of this sort, dissect 
an ape^^ and, having removed the flesh, observe each bone 
with care. Choose those apes likest man, with short jaws 
and small canines. You will find other parts also resembling 
man s, for they can walk and run on two feet. Those, on the 
other hand, like the dog/faced baboons, with long snouts and 



large canines, far from walking or running on their hind/'legs, 
can hardly stand upright. The more human sort have a nearly 
erect posture; but firsdy the head of the femur fits into the socket at 
the hip/joint rather transversely,^^ and secondly, of the muscles 

22^ which extend downward to the knee, some go further [than 
in man].^"^ Both these features check and impede erectness of 
posture, as do the feet themselves, which have comparatively 
narrow heels and are deeply cleft between the toes [Figs. 7, 16-20]. 

These are but trifling differences and only slightly interfere 
with standing upright. But such apes as the dog/'faced baboons 
not only differ very greatly from man in form, but also have an 
obvious unlikeness to him in their bones [Fig. 4]. 

Of apes choose, then, those likest to man, and meanwhile 
read my writings, getting from them an exact knowledge of the 
bones. For from the start you will gain from having grown 
familiar with the terms for them. These will be useful for 
learning the anatomy of the other parts also. Moreover, should 
you light on a human skeleton, you will more easily recognize 
and recall all that you have learned. But if you rely on reading, 
without constandy observing these bones, and on a sudden 

22^ come on a human skeleton, you may be at a loss. For to recall 
observed phenomena demands continued familiarity. Do we 
not readily recognize those we often meet, while passing by 
those seldom seen? Hence the much/vaunted ^empirical' 
anatomy,^^ to which some physicians attach special value, must 
fail to explain the nature of the observations which have been 
made. For to understand [a dissection] when suddenly seen, one 
must have observed each part at leisure beforehand, preferably 
in human subjects^^ or, failing these, in animals similar to man. 

In an epidemic of the anthrax in many cities of Asia, a 
number [of patients] presented parts stripped of skin and even 
of flesh.^7 I was then still at home [i.e. before a.d. 152], study/ 
ing under Satyrus. He had been three years in Pergamum with 
Costunius Rufinus,^^ who was building for us the temple of 

22^ Zeus Asclepios. Not long before there died Quintus,^^ the 
master of Satyrus. All of us, who saw Satyrus demonstrating 


on exposed parts, recognized them explicidy and completely, 
telling the patients to make this movement or that, such as we 
knew was effected by this or that muscle, sometimes contract/ 
ing or displacing the muscles a litde to observe a large artery, 
nerve, or vein lying beside them. We then saw some students, 
as though blind, unable to recognize the parts, uselessly raising 
or displacing the exposed muscles (which needlessly distressed 
the patients), or even making no attempt to observe. Yet others, 
who had had more practice, knew how to direct the patient to 
move the part appropriately. Thus I perceived that, in observing 
wounds, those are confirmed who already know what to 
expect, but the ignorant learn nothing thereby. 226 

I therefore maintain that the bones must be learnt either from 
man, or ape, or better from both, before dissecting the muscles, 
for these two [namely bones and muscles] form the ground-' 
work of the other parts, the foundations, as it were, of a build/ 
ing. And next, study arteries, veins, and nerves. FamiHarity 
with dissection of these will bring you to the inward parts and 
so to a knowledge of the viscera, the fat, and the glands, which 
also you should examine separately, in detail. Such should be 
the order of your training. 

As I have already said, you should seek in demonstrations 
to uncover the part for study as rapidly as possible, and to dis/ 
play it in many aspects, adopting various methods of handling. 
If you have no ape, bodies of other animals must serve, making 22 j 
clear from the start wherein they differ from an ape, as I shall 
presently explain. 

Chapter 3 

[Distinctiveness of Muscles and Neglect of the Ancients in 
dissecting Them] 

First read my exposition De ossihus^^ so as to have it at your 227 
finger/tips, not only as regards the facts, but also the names, for 
I cannot discuss incidental points during my argument. 



Not long ago I wrote also my De musculorum dtssectione, a 
separate work.^^ This was at the instance of colleagues who 
needed memoranda when travelling. They particularly re/ 
quested this as there had just reached us a tedious compila^ 
tion by Lycus.^^ It was of about 15,000 lines and contained 
nearly as many errors, even omitting many muscles. My work 
is probably but a third as long, but explains all the muscles. 
It deals faithfully with Lycus, a man ignorant of the function 

228 of many muscles and missing some completely. By dissecting 
an ape guided by my book [De musculorum dissectione] any so 
minded may gain experience, but he will learn better from this 
present one how to handle the muscles in each part. 

On the body let your practice be first to discern the origin 
and insertion of each muscle, and whether it be uniform 
throughout its length or diversely compounded. You will find 
some muscles of a single nature, others of a multiple. The latter 
may look like several muscles superimposed on one another, 
criss/'crossed in their length. Such observations are useful to you 
both in surgery and for investigating function. For in operating 
we must sometimes sever muscles, because of deep abscesses, 

22^ or necrosis or sepsis. By knowledge of the action of the severed 
muscle you may forecast the function destroyed and thus escape 
the charge that the disability is due to the treatment rather than 
the lesion. Surgical precision, too, demands knowledge of the 
action of the muscles, for the action of some is so important 
that, if they be inactive, the whole part becomes useless, whereas 
others initiate only insignificant actions. It is better to acquire 
this knowledge beforehand, so as to cut cautiously or dras/ 
tically according to need. 

Muscles are best divided along the fibres. Transverse incu 
sions, that is across the fibres, paralyse them but are sometimes 
necessary for the extension of narrow wounds which go deep. 
Such would be a stab wound at either end of a tendon; where 

230 there is a risk that, while the parts on the surface close, those 
deeper may remain separate. Sometimes we are driven to sever 
the muscles for drainage, for the position of the wound is often 


such that the injury in its depth disappears from sight. Thus, 
for example, if a wound be received with the arm completely 
extended, obviously the patient cannot maintain that position 
during treatment, and the easiest position is that in which the 
deep injury is hidden. No medicament can then reach it nor 
can pus drain therefrom. It is then necessary to incise the wound 
again, and for that it is essential to know the direction of the 
fibres and the action of the muscles. 

The student must carefully do everything himself, even to 251 
removing the skin. My predecessors actually remained in igno^ 
ranee of eight muscles, because they left to others the flaying 
of the apes, as at first I did myself Of these eight muscles two 
are designed to move the jaws [platysma faciei] and two join 
arms to chest [panniculus] [Figs. 11-13]. 

They erred also as to the other four and their tendons, for 
though all pass into tendons which are quite round, yet these 
expand to the thinness of a membrane, as happens under the 
sole of the foot and in the hand [in the plantaris and the paU 
maris lon^us]. All the anatomists have maintained, with some 
show of reason, that these tendons in the hands flex the fingers, 
whereas those in the leg draw back the heel. For in the foot 
there is no single muscle which Nature has designed as the 
origin of this tendon. However there is a bipartite muscle in 2^2 
the calf of which one portion gives rise to this tendon ]_gastro^ 
cnemius].^^ In the hands the attachment of the tendon is [more] 
obvious, though in skinning it is inevitably torn away with the 
smooth part of the palm [palmaris longus]. Finding the tendon 
plainly extending from the muscle and seeing its lower end 
torn, and reasoning rather than carefully dissecting, they 
thought that it, too, moves the fingers like the muscles that lie 
under it [Fig. 14]. 

Many such facts have been discovered throughout the body, 
which the anatomists disregarded, shirking detailed dissection 
and content with plausible ideas. It is thus no wonder that 
they were ignorant of many things in the living animal. For if 
they pass as unimportant what is demonstrable only by careful 



dissection, would they trouble to cut or ligate parts of the 
living animal, to discern the function thus impeded ? 

255 At first I too had an assistant to skin the apes, avoiding the 
task myself as beneath my dignity. Yet when one day I found 
by the armpit, resting on and united to the muscles, a small 
piece of flesh which I could not attach to any of them, I de/ 
cided to skin the next ape carefully myself I had it drowned, 
as I usually do, to avoid crushing the neck, and tried to remove 
the skin from the surface, avoiding the organs beneath. I then 
found, extended under the whole skin of the flank, a thin 
membranous muscle [panniculus carnosus]. This was continuous 
with the covering of the spinal muscles at the loins as a fascia 
(syndesmon) from the bone of the spine. (I give this name 
SYNDESMON to all that extends from the bones, just as I call 
the offshoots of the brain and spinal cord nerves (neura), 
and the extensions (aponeuroseis) of the muscles tendons 
(tenontes).) Having found this muscle — the nature of 

234 which will be fully and duly explained — I was the more 
anxious to skin the animals myself, and thus I discovered that 
Nature had wrought these aforesaid muscles for important 
functions [Fig. 8]. 

First I shall consider those muscles under the lower, smooth, 
hairless part of the hand, since it seems to me better to begin 
with the hand as a whole, following the order of my De usu 
partium.^^ For my earlier De anatomicis administrationihus lihriduo^ 
had followed the same order as that of Marinus^^ (and this I 
have mentioned in my De usu partium),^^ Now I return to the 
task after a long interval throughout which I have studied 

Thus I have now much new and more detailed knowledge, 
particularly in the subjects treated at the beginning of that 
work. For then I knew nothing of the fine muscles at the 
23s extremities of the limbs which flex the first joint of each finger 
and toe [lumhricales]. I thought that this action was performed 
solely by the membrane which encloses on the outside the 



tendon running down to the end of their internode [fexores di^u 
tOYum suhlimis et profundus]. I also thought the tendons which 
move each finger sideways [interossei] to be analogous to those 
which extend and flex them, in that they are attached only to 
the parts of the bones at the joints. Yet that was not the case, 
for they [i.e. the tendons of the flexores digitorum profundi] each 
extend to the tip of each finger, attaching their own tiny fila^ 
ments [uincula longa] like a cobweb to the bones beyond the 
joints. These discoveries I made in the hand and foot, but 
throughout the rest of this treatise there are many comparable 
points, of which I shall duly speak. 

Chapter 4 

[Certain of Galen's Differences from his Predecessors] 

Since it will be thought that on many points I am contradict/ 255 
ing eminent anatomists, I think it wiser to say in advance a 
little on this. Controversy between physicians did not start 2^6 
with me but has long existed among them. For this there are 
two reasons — first, because some of them had made erroneous 
statements, but second, merely because they used different ways of 
expression. Thus some, who agreed in recognition of observed 
facts, gave an illusory impression of disagreement to readers who 
themselves have never dissected. I have discussed such matters 
more extensively in my earlier work De dissentione anatomica.^"^ 
Now I shall state briefly only what bears on the present theme. 

Some anatomists consider that there are as many muscles as 
there are muscle/origins. Others neglect the origins but consider 
the insertions (teleutai), emphasizing the body of the 
muscles. For them many short heads, coalescing and producing 
a uniform outline, are not necessarily many muscles. [Even] if 
the insertions be multiple and have a uniform motion, they say 257 
that it is better to treat them as one muscle, and the more if it be 
impossible to divide them in a linear fashion into several parts. 
This is illustrated with the muscle in the middle of the lower 



arm on the outside [i.e. extensor surface]. Pqj- being continue 
ous with itself and single in the strict sense, it is split at the wrist 
into four tendons [extensor digitorum communis which is, how^' 
ever, variously divided in different species of ape] producing a 
uniform movement, each extending the relevant finger. With 
reason, then, all anatomists treat this muscle as one, disregard/ 
ing the multiplicity of tendons of insertion. 

For the same reason, they regard as one the muscle lying next 
to it which moves the litde finger laterally [extensor digiti 
minimi]^ though it has two tendons of insertion, for when the 
belly which lies above the tendons contracts it gives the ap/ 
pearance of one muscle. So if, like the tendons, the muscles also 

238 which lie above them had a twofold oudine, they would have 
maintained that the muscles that initiate lateral motion in the 
little finger were two. However, the muscle that gives the other 
three fingers the same motion [extensor es digitorum II, 111, IV] 
they do not regard as one. Yet if likeness of motions justifies 
treatment of them as a unity, surely since all regard the muscle 
that extends the four fingers as one, they should reckon also 
as one those that initiate lateral movement. 

Moreover, not even when several heads of a muscle coalesce 
near their origin into one belly with its own outline, do they 
consider the number of heads. Thus they have all taken as 
single the muscle in front attached to the arm, which starts 
from two heads [hiceps hrachii], because it has but one insertion 
and has necessarily a single motion and uniform outline. But 
they do not regard as single those muscles which move the calf 
[gastrocnemius], though they accept that they are fastened to the 
heel by a single tendon [tendo calcaneus], because their heads 

239 extend a long way before uniting. 

If then they be right, though their teaching about other 
muscles is often wrong, they should not be charged with igno^ 
ranee on this ground alone, nor need it be suspected that they 
disagree [on matters of fact] with those who enjoy better doc^ 
trine. I shall state in turn two methods of teaching the same 
subject, which differ in appearance more than in reality. 


One may be put thus. The three larger digits, thumb, index, 
and middle finger, are moved sideways toward the litde finger 
by a single muscle [extensor pollicis longus, extensor indicts plus 
extensor digiti tertii proprius, the last absent in man]. This arises 
from the bone in the forearm, but produces three tendons of its 
own near the wrist. These pass into the side of the hands and 
cause their oblique motion. 

Another way may be put thus. Two muscles resting on the 
forearm on the outside^^ initiate the lateral movement of these 240 
three fingers. One muscle is inserted into the middle/finger 
[extensor digiti tertii proprius] and index/finger [extensor indicis] 
with a single tendon, being attached to the bone of the forearm 
over a very large area. The other muscle extends with a single 
tendon, just as it itself is single, and draws the thumb as it were 
towards the index [extensor pollicis lon^us]. Its head is in the 
upper parts of the arm, near the elbow^joint, and after a short 
distance it ends in a tendon which extends by the side of the 
muscle that moves the middle and index fingers. 

The two methods differ less in what they seek to express 
than in their way of expressing it. The second, which says that 
two muscles are involved, is more accurate, since the muscle 
moving the thumb obviously has its own outline, but the first 
is not to be rejected entirely, seeing that the muscles have some/' 
thing in common and lie together, united by thin fibres. 

Still more will a false impression of disagreement arise from 
the accounts of the tendon which moves the thumb and wrist. 241 
For here too one can say that the muscle is forked — as in fact 
the anatomists have said — because it obviously has both a single 
head and a single outline, though at the end of the radius, by 
the wrist, it yields two tendons [one for the thumb and one for 
the two adjacent fingers]. However, anyone concerned about 
precision would do better to say that there is not one muscle 
here, but two, however closely united from the head to the 
point of divisions into tendons. It is fair to treat them as two, 
both because, if properly separated, they are found completely 
distinct, and also because they move parts different in nature. 



For one tendon moves the thumb, the other the wrist; the 
motions are alike but the parts moved unlike. 

[The anatomists] have made it clear that they generally dis/ 
tinguish muscles by differences in their motions rather than by 
their places of origin, v^hen they say that there are two muscles 
bending all the fingers, not one only, although their motion is 
almost alike in kind, and what is more they have a single 
origin. For since one head of the tendons bends the second joint, 
the other the first and third, they say that there are two muscles 
here. These, they say, are completely united through the whole 
length of the forearm, until they end in the branching tendons 
[fexores digitorum suhlimis et profundus], but are perceived to 
be double from the difference in their motions. [In the ape 
the fexor suhlimis gives off a fleshy branch to the fexor 

The most accurate method of teaching looks to these points. 
Yet one must not quarrel with those who follow a second 
method for any small departure from the first. It is preferable, 
when we find a statement made by many accepted authorities 
that departs slighdy from the best method, to accept it tem/ 
porarily, so as to avoid confusing the hearers by raising an 
appearance of disagreement. If you insist on precision, either 
you add to your account, if you are following the accepted 
method, that it is preferable to suppose that there are, say, two 
muscles, for the reason given or, if you follow the best method 
again you will add that these two muscles are really one, on the 
ground that they coalesce for a large part of their course. It is 
better that this should be said right away about all the muscles. 

Chapter 5 

[Muscles of Flexor Surface^^ of Forearm] 

243 It is now time to explain how to proceed if one would gain 
experience oneself and give demonstrations to others. I have 


already shown the common error of many who claim to be 
anatomists, in dissecting animals long dead, with parts dry and 
tense. They stretch the overlying skin, or the membranes or 
other tissues, and thus displace the underlying parts, or again 
pull and bend the fingers by the tendon inserted into the palm 
[palmaris lon^us]. Yet they themselves say that muscle or tendon 
must be attached to the bone that is to be moved. They speak 
erroneously (forgetting what they have themselves rightly said) 
when they assert that the fingers are bent by the tendon even 
when it has no attachment to the bone. 

We must now explain how to proceed, avoiding their errors. 244 
Obviously we must first of all remove all the outer skin from 
the arm and fingers excepting only the palm, then carefully 
strip the parts in the region of the wrist/joint. The sharp lancet 
is suitable for removing such tissues so that no membrane may 
be left behind after removal of skin, just as the blunt is useful 
for sundering muscles. 

The membranes being removed, the first muscle [encoun/ 
tered] is on the surface of the mid forearm [palmaris lon^us]. Of 
it I shall speak more fully later [pp. 14^15]. You will see liga^ 
ments [retinacula] lying across the articulations, both on the 
inside [flexor surface] and on the outside [extensor surface] 
of the limb. Under them lie the heads of the tendons, on the 
inner^^ side those that flex the fingers, on the outer those that 
extend them. On either side of the ligaments on the inner side 
[of the arm] is a muscle flexing the wrist. The one is in a line 
with the little finger [flexor carpi ulnaris] the othct with the index 
[flexor carpi radialis]. On the outside, there is the single muscle 24s 
in the forearm which extends the wrist [extensor carpi ulnaris] as 
well as two in the ulna* both moving the wrist. The latter 
move also the thumb, and I said [p. 11] that it was better to 
describe here two muscles rather than one. The tendonsf of all 
the muscles on the outside which I have mentioned have liga/ 
ments transversely round them [extensor retinaculum], 

* Text says 'radius*, 
f Text says 'heads'. 



There is also a muscle descending from above the radius 
[hrachioradialis] which in the ape does not end below in a 
tendon, like those so far mentioned, but somewhat membra/ 
nously. By it this part is turned inwards [i.e., flexed]. No 
retinacular ligament surrounds this muscle, any more than the 
muscles inside which move the wrist [flexor carpi ulnaris]^ but 
it becomes both fleshy and membranous at the lower end of the 
radius and turns inward near the wrist/joint. You may call 
the fibrous end ( A p o N E u R 5 s I s) a * muscle/tendon (h y m e 
ODE tenonta). This muscle has a middle position, being 
neither among the muscles of the outside of the limb nor among 
246 those of the inside when the hand is in its natural position, for 
it rests on the whole Hmb and on the radius. Since anatomists 
divide the parts in the lower arm into two regions, caUing some 
of them ^exterior' and others *interior',^^ we must follow their 
example to avoid the impression of making innovations. 
This muscle we think should, on the whole, be classed with 
the exterior muscles. 

Another muscle within the forearm, of which I shall speak 
more clearly later, has a function unlike that of any muscle 
throughout the whole body, unless we except the calf It is on 
the surface inside the hand under the skin, between ulna and 
radius. It ends, as I have said [p. 7], in a flat tendon, extend/ 
ing under the smooth, hairless part of the hand [palmaris 
lon^us]. On removing the skin this muscle is seen in the middle 
of the muscles on the inner side. You may, if you choose, 
dissect the outer parts first, but let us begin from this muscle 
which extends under the skin with an expanded tmdon[palmar 

This tendon begins obviously to widen alitde above the wrist/ 
24J joint. There one had best begin its dissection. It is plainly 
marked off from the muscles around and under it, being sur/ 
rounded with fine fibres which you can strip off even with your 
fingers and easily with a blunt lancet, raising the head of the 
tendon with the fingers or by inserting a hook. Then dissect 
it upwards to the joint at the elbow whence it issues. (For this 


work the blunter sort of lancet is best.) Then, with the upper 
attachment still adhering, cut it across. 

Now pull upward the lower part (which you have severed 
from the tissues by transverse incision), so as to stretch the 
'roots'. Give special attention to what you now do, for not far 
from its end this tendon extends under the palmar skin [palmar 
aponeurosis]. Here you can proceed in one of two ways. Either 
remove the attached skin with the flattened tendon, separating 248 
the latter from the underlying tissues with a sharp lancet; or free 
the skin from the tendon, leaving it on the underlying tissues. 
Either way its nature will become clear. This tendon is set under 
the inside of all the fingers, having as limit the line where the 
hairless palm meets the hairy skin. Beyond this tendon you will 
see flattened vessels (platynthenta) and nerves appor^ 
tioned to these parts [digital vessels and nerves]. Membranes 
rest on them, which you will remove with them after dissect/ 
ing the muscles. 

Springing from two heads, the tendons that flex the fingers lie 
underneath, at the level of the ligament [fexor retinaculum] to 24^ 
which the heads of the tendons are applied. Of these heads, 
the one produces four tendons, inserted into all the digits 
except the thumb at the beginning of the second phalanx. 
By these tendons the second joint is flexed [flexor digitorum 
sublimis]. The other tendon/head [flexor di^itorum profundus], 
lying beneath the former, splits into five parts in the ape, each 
reaching to the last joint of the digit, and is there inserted. 

Each several tendon is surrounded by a strong sheath, 
tougher than the tendon itself, and Hke a thick membrane 
[fibrous flexor sheath]. (You may call this tissue ligament' 
(syndesmon) or 'membrane' (hymen) or, compositely, 
'membranous ligament', or again 'hard membrane'. And you 
can name the covering of the tendons 'coat' (amp hies ma) 
or 'sheath' (skepasma) or 'tunic' (chit5n). Beyond the 
division into branches, you will see each tendon, along with 
the aforesaid covering, drawn in by the tendons lying under it 
but themselves passing on to the bones of the fingers, and [you 



will see] the first and third articulation of each finger bent, 
as if the tendon were inserted there, and the first bound by the 
surrounding ligament to the bones.* 

It has been said in my De ossihus^^ that anatomists call the 
bones ofthefingers skytalides or phalanges. You will 
observe their attachments (emphyseis) if you remove the 
ligament lying around the tendons. The [five] tendons [of 
the fexor digitorum profundus] which lie underneath rest on the 
bones of their fingers and fuse with the third phalanx without 
splitting. The four [of the jiexor digitorum suhlimis] that rest on 
them are attached to the second bone, as I have said above, but 
as each passes over the former larger tendon, each splits in 
two, encircles the tendon lying under it, and is attached to the 
sides of the second phalanx. The thumb is pecuHar in that 

251 nothing [from the Jiexor digitorum suhlimis] reaches it from above 
nor from the common head, but it forms attachments else^ 

Scrutinize the palm and examine in it the tendon which 
breaks off from the other four [of the flexor digitorum pro/ 
fundus] to enter the thumb [flexor pollicis longus]. It does not 
stop at the first joint as do each of its fellows to the fingers, but 
passes on to the second joint (corresponding to the third of the 
phalanges). It moves this, as they do, by its attachment to it. It 
has a separate sheath round it and when you free it of tendons 
you must cut this sheath lengthwise with a sharp lancet. If 
you botch the operation and do not cut straight, you will sever 
the underlying tendon. 

For manipulating the tendons from their origins to their 
sheaths, either let your ape be fairly fresh, before the fingers 

252 have time to dry and stiffen and so to resist extension, or freshen 
them by pouring hot water over them or, if they are only 
moderately stiff, by kneading and movement. You would 
learn the function of each more clearly if you were to stretch 
all the structures around the fingers. Do this with the tendons 
underlying the [transverse] ligament. 

* Three lines of text here obscure. 


For the other two muscles by which the wrist is bent, begin 
to dissect them a little above the wrist/joint, for there they 
clearly pass into tendons and have the unmistakable oudines 
of such. By separating them from the underlying and surround^ 
ing tissues, both at their upper and lower end, you will see the 
tendons themselves attached to the articulation of the wrist 
below and their heads reaching the articulation of the elbow 
above. One of the tendons [flexor carpi ulmris] is inserted in 
the straight and cartilaginous bone at the wrist which is in line 
with the litde finger [^isiform].^^ This lies beside that process of 
the ulna that anatomists call styloid. The other tendon 255 
[flexor carpi radialis] plunges deep immediately after the articular 
tion so that it has been thought that it becomes attached to one 
of the carpal bones. If you dissect the ligaments on top of it, 
however, you will see clearly that it reaches the metacarpal of 
the index, to the base of which it is attached. 

These five muscles [palmaris longus, flexores di^itorum suh 
limis et profundus, flexores carpi ulnaris et radialis] occupy the 
whole inner side [flexor surface] of the forearm. If they are 
removed, those moving the radius will be revealed. Of them 
I shall speak later. 

Chapter 6 

[Muscles of Extensor Surface^^ of Forearm] 

Meantime I shall touch first on the muscles on the outer 255 
[extensor] side of the forearm, adding only that, whether you 
remove or retain the upper attachments [of the muscles already 
dissected], you will not prejudice the dissection which follows. 
Leave, however, the tendons which pass into the fingers so 
that there may be revealed the small muscles of the hand. 
These can be found even before the dissection of the outer 
parts, though it is better to dissect them last, as I shall later 
make clear. 

Dissect the outer parts thus. After the skin come the super/ 25^ 

B. 2363 C 



ficial vessels and nerves. Remove them with the membranes 
and you v^ill see clearly four ligaments lying obliquely, one 
which binds the end of the ulna and the radius, the second on 
the ulna alone below the afore^mentioned, and two others on 
the radius alone. [These are apparently subdivisions of the 
deep fascia.] Make a straight incision in them, then fold up on 
either side, as far as the root of each, the parts of the ligament 
separated from one another, or else remove them altogether. 

Next raise with a hook for its full length first the head of the 
four tendons [extensor digitorum communis] which move the 
digits (other than the thumb) — it is placed in the midst of the 
others — secondly, the tendon^head which draws the two little 
fingers to the side [extensores di^itorum proprii IV et V] away 
from the others. This last is divided, of course, into two ten/ 
dons.^^ (It makes no difference if one says that this draws the 
fingers to the lower part of the hand, imagining it in its natural 
255 position, as Hippocrates taught.) Then you must raise the 
remaining one, the third, which initiates a like movement in the 
two* bigger fingers [extensores digitorum proprii II et III]. The 
first head of the tendons issues from one muscle, just like the 
second. By dissecting the double tendon of the third, the head 
which moves the two fingers, the index and the middle, [is 
seen to] issue from one muscle, while that which moves the 
thumb [extensor pollicis longus] from yet another. And thus 
there will be four muscles under the aforesaid ligaments.^^ 

Next comes the muscle that extends the wrist at the litde 
finger [extensor carpi ulnaris]. It has its attachment by a single 
tendon at the back off the fifth metacarpal. It is surrounded by 
a rather feeble ligament arising in the [styloid] process of the 

At the thumb region, another strong ligament binds the head 
of the two tendons [of the ahductor pollicis longus and extensor 
pollicis longus], the bone of the radius being most beautifully 
carved at the process into a hollow equal to the thickness of the 
tendon s head.^^ [Fig. 6.] One tendon is inserted into the meta/ 

* Text says 'three'. f Text says *in front of. 


carpal of the thumb [on the sesamoid there], the other into the 25^ 
thumb itself, immediately after the first articulation. Whether you 
say that these two tendons spring from one muscle or two makes 
little practical difference, but the preferable view is that the 
two tendons spring from two closely united muscles. Indeed 
with care you can separate them, as with the two which pro^ 
duce lateral movement in the two* larger fingers [p. 13].^^ 

The remaining muscle on the outer side of the forearm [ex^ 
tensores carpi radiales lon^us et hreuis treated as one], which 
extends the wrist, is inserted by a double tendon into the second 
and third metacarpals, and the head of its tendon is fixed firmly 
to the radius near the wrist/joint [by the extensor retinaculum]. 

Thus there are eight muscles occupying the forearm on the 
outer side, or seven if one holds that the three big fingers are 
moved by two muscles and wrist with thumb by a [separate] 
one, that is by the muscle by the radius. 

Chapter 7 

[Origins of Wrist Muscles] 

How each muscle is attached to the bones in the forearm has 257 
been explained in my De musculorum dissectione?^ I shall repeat 
it here, to avoid gaps in my exposition and, as in that book, I 
shall also describe the attachments of the higher [muscles] for 
the sake of consistency. 

On the outer condyle of the humerus you will find three 
muscle heads; the highest extends the four fingers [extensor 
digitoYum communis]; the lowest extends the wrist by the fifth 
digit [extensor carpi ulnaris] ; the middle [extends] the two lesser 
digits [extensor es digitorum proprii IV et V]. 

Under these and deep to them you will find two closely 
united muscles which belong to the rem^aining three digits. 
They arise from the ulna; that which belongs to the two fingers 
[extensores digitorum proprii II et ///], from the greater part of its 
length; that other which belongs to the thumb [extensor 
* Text says 'three'. 



pollicis (lon^us)], from its upper end. On this there lies the 
muscle, closely united to the muscle of the wrist, which extends 

2s8 the head of the thumb but itself occupies the whole depth of the 
region between radius and ulna [ahductor pollicis lon^us]. This 
muscle you should begin to dissect, as with the others, from 
the wrist [upwards]. As you strip it gingerly off the underlying 
tissues, note the ligamentous membrane between ulna and 
radius, throughout their length [li^amentum interosseum]. This 
forms the boundary between inner [flexor] and outer [exten/* 
sor] side of the limb. You will find this muscle resting on and 
coalescing with it, or rather, arising from it. 

If then you strip this muscle [abductor pollicis lon^us] properly 
from the membrane which separates one from the other, you 
will find under it [i.e. under the membrane] a certain small 
muscle set transversely, extending from ulna to radius [pronator 
quadratus]. Of this I shall speak later, for you must first turn to 
the muscle that rests on the aforesaid muscle [ahductor pollicis 
lon^us] which lies along the radius throughout its length, always 
adhering to it, while its upper end is applied lightly to the 
ulna. Dissect higher up the muscle which lies on the afore^ 

259 said muscle and beside the radius. From this muscle* a double 
tendon comes off and is attached to the metacarpals of the index 
and middle fingers [extensores carpi radiales lon^us et hrevis treated 
as one]. You will find the top of this muscle at the highest 
part of the outer condyle, reaching a point on the humerus 
above it. 

Consider now the muscle above this [i.e. above the ahductor 
pollicis lon^us] and [above] the radius itself, the muscle peculiar 
to the radius, which turns the palm upward [supinator]. It has 
an origin above this [i.e. the radius] and continuous and united 
with the origin of which we have just spoken [i.e. with the 
origin of the extensores carpi radiales]. But here especially the 
dissection may become confused, since the end of this muscle, 
becoming membranous, insinuates itself into the muscles of the 
upper arm. Therefore let it alone [now] and do not search for 
* Text here reads 'I said that', a scribal insertion. 



it while dissecting the lower arm. When you come to the upper 
arm, you will first lay bare the muscle in front [biceps hrachii]. 
It is then that you will find the origin of this muscle inserted 260 
into the humerus by a narrow ligament. The greatest part of it 
rests on and lies alongside the muscles of the arm there. 

Such are the heads of the muscles on the outside of the fore/ 
arm. Of the muscles on the inside, that by the little finger that 
flexes the wrist starts from the inner condyle of the humerus 
having some connexion with the ulna too [flexor carpi ulnaris]; 
while that by the thumb has its origin in the same condyle 
[flexor carpi radialis]. Between the two heads lies the origin of 
the muscle that runs down into the skin of the hand [palmaris 
lon^us]. Under it again lie the heads of two muscles that move 
the fingers [flexores digitorum suhlimis et profundus] filling the 
entire space between radius and ulna. The smaller [flexor digi^ 
torum suhlimis] is exacdy in the middle and springs from the 
inner condyle* of the humerus; being connected for a short 
space with the ulna also. The other [flexor digitorum profundus] 
is under this and occupies throughout its depth the whole space 
between radius and ulna. Moreover, it is attached to both bones 
[in the ape]. To the ulna it is attached at its forward outgrowth 261 
[coronoid process] in the elbow region, and this part branches 
out in the wrist in line with its attachment into the litde finger. 
Another part of it with the same origin moves the four [other] 
digits and is placed in line with the index. And there is a third 
part of it which pertains to its own [special] fingers [i.e. I, II, 
and III]. This part, the belly, occupies the space between radius 
and ulna. 

Chapter 8 

[Insertions of Interna?^ and External Muscles of Forearm] 

When you have dissected this muscle, it is time for our exposi/ 261 
tion of the transverse muscle [pronator quadratus] which I post/ 
poned. All the muscles so far discussed having been removed, 
* Text reads kephale for kondyle. 



those peculiar to the forearm become visible. By these the whole 
hand is supinated or the reverse. There are four: two are seen 
to reach the upper part of the forearm and two are close to the 
wrist [Fig. 15]. 

Of the two at the wrist, one is the transverse* muscle. It lies 
between radius and ulna [pronator quadratus] and issues from the 
262 ulna, while the end reaches the radius, to move which is its 
function. Thus if you place the hand palm upward and stretch 
the origin of the muscle, grasping it with your fingers, as I told 
you always to do, you will see the whole hand being turned 
palm downwards. (Similarly if you stretch from its head the 
muscle that lies at the top of the forearm, the head of which 
reaches the humerus [supinator]^ you will make the hand turn 
palm upward. Thus to these two muscles opposite functions 
are assigned, though both move the lower end of the fore/ 
arm.) The yet longer and more fleshy muscle [extensores carpi 
radiates longus et hrevis], which lies altogether above this, also 
moves the hand to the supine position and we therefore reckon 
it among the outer muscles. The other [pronator quadratus], 
which turns the radius inwards, initiates the prone position 
[Figs. 14, 15]. 

The two muscles remaining move the upper part of the 
radius and are also opposed, their position being oblique. The 
one comes from the inner parts, issuing from the [inner] con/ 
26^ dyle of the humerus [pronator radii teres]. It is there closely 
united with the head of the muscle on the thumb side which 
moves the wrist [fexor carpi radialis] but starts higher on the 
condyle. The other [supinator] is on the outside, and is smaller. 
Because of this, its fibres have a more slanting position. And it 
has a more sinewy insertion on the radius than the muscle on 
the inside [pronator radii teres] which we mentioned earlier, of 
which the attachment to the radius is continuous with it.f 

I have now explained all the muscles that surround the ulna 
and the radius. 

* Reading lechrion for loxon, oblique. 

f Two lines here unintelligible, followed by four of repetition. 


Chapter 9 

[Small Muscles of Hand] 

You now proceed to the small muscles of the hand. Remove all 26^ 
tendons of muscles on the outside, as far as their terminations 
in each finger, but not those of the muscles inside. 

Examine the small muscles beside the tendons which flex the 264 
third joint [lumhricales] before you cut them away. These 
muscles take their rise from the four sheaths surrounding the 
tendons [of the flexor digitorum profundus] and reach the sides 
of the fingers, producing very slender tendons. If, beginning 
from the fleshy part of the muscle which lies beside the first 
tendon, you dissect carefully, freeing it from the neighbouring 
parts, you will find the small tendon extending along the whole 
finger. Like the tendons from which they arise these muscles are 
four in number, namely, for the fifth, fourth, third, and second 
digits [Fig 14]. 

The thumb is moved by two other muscles, one drawing it 
away as from the other fingers [abductor pollicis brevis], the other 
drawing it towards the index [adductor pollicis]. That which 
draws it away to the utmost [abductor pollicis brevis] must 
necessarily be longer, wherefore its head issues from the first 
bone at the wrist [navicular but also from the radial sesamoid]. 
That which draws it towards the index is naturally shorter and 
broader and has transverse fibres [adductor pollicis]. This latter 26$ 
rests on the other muscles that I am about to mention. Its head 
is attached to the third metacarpal [but also to the second]. 

As the thumb is drawn away from the other fingers by the 
muscle [abductor pollicis brevis] that arises from the first of the 
bones in the carpus [navicular], so is the little finger drawn 
away by a muscle of like kind [abductor minimi digiti], which 
has its origin in the bone of the carpus corresponding to it 
[pisiform], in which is also inserted the tendon which bends the 
whole wrist [flexor carpi ulnaris] [Fig. 14].* 

* Here there must have dropped out from the text a passage describing the 
cotttrahentes digitorum. 



These seven muscles [four lumhricales and three contrahentes] 
have, of course, not escaped the notice of the anatomists, for 
there is no tissue lying over them which needs skilful removal 
for their display. For not only are the muscles that abduct 
thumb and Htde finger bare of covering by muscle or tendon, 
but they actually come to light before the tendons which flex 
the fingers, if that method of dissection be followed in which 
we remove the membranous tendon which lies under the palm. 
Each of the other [four muscles] [lumhricales] Hes along the four 
deep/set [flexor] tendons. 
266 However, as I have said, it is not surprising that the tendons 
lying deep at the metacarpus were unknown to them, as they 
were to me for long. For unless you remove the large flexor 
tendons and the seven muscles which I have just discussed, 
none of those small muscles of which I am about to speak can 
be seen. If, however, these be removed, there becomes visible a 
continuous fleshy sheet formed from them all. This needs care/ 
ful dissection so that you may distinguish the separate muscles 
[Fig- 15]. 

There are two for each finger [palmar inferos set]. They reach 
the first articulation on the inner side and are attached to the 
sides [o{ iht phalanx]. For this reason they make no rigid and 
unwavering curve, but incline a little to the side, so that each, 
when contracted, bends the first joint slightly, but the two com/ 
bined produce a straight and rigid position in each finger. 

All the others [dorsal interossei] issue from the ligament at 
the wrist and metacarpus at roughly the same articulation of 
the bones [as the palmar interossei]. Those belonging to the 
thumb [fexores pollicis hreves described as two muscles] have 
26] their attachment higher than these. They issue not from the 
aforesaid bones but from the ligament that confines the two ten/ 
dons of the muscles which flex the fingers [fiexor retinaculum]. 
This ligament issues from the bones of the wrist on either side, 
without being attached to the ends of the ulna, or to the base 
of the metacarpals. [Fig. 15]. 

If you remove these muscles also, there will be no others left 



in the wrist or lower arm. You can then proceed in your 
investigation of the combination of the bones — their numbers, 
relations to each other, and their union. Of these enough has 
been said in my De ossihus.^^ 

Chapter lo 

[Ligaments of Wrist and Hand] 

Try to dissect with a sharp lancet all the ligaments [syndes^ 267 
MO I, ^bonds'] which remain when the muscles are removed. 
Remember that such structures of their nature have a threefold 
function. First, that to which they owe their name, as binding 
[li£o, I bind, hence ^ligaments'] bone to bone. Second, they 268 
protect underlying structures, as I have said, for the tendons 
at the wrist [fexor and extensor retinacula]. Third, they may cover 
these same tendons, forming an integument [tendon sheaths]. 
A fourth use is not peculiar to them. It is that when muscles 
end ligamentously they may act as ligaments as we have men^ 
tioned, but not so as to bind bone to bone, for in their midst 
they conduct (synaptousi) the muscles under them to the 
bones into which they are inserted. 

None of the muscles hitherto discussed has ligaments of this 
last type, though others have. Of such, as for example the 
muscle in front of the upper arm [biceps and its lacertus 
fihrosus], I shall speak later. And yet some of the muscles of 
which I have spoken have some general Hgamentous character 
to the eyes of those who can trace the beginnings of things.* 
Such is the muscle which abducts the thumb [ahductor pollicis 269 
hreuis]. This, though small, has something much like a liga^ 
ment in its attachment to the first of the bones at the wrist 
[navicular but also the radial sesamoid]. 

Among the muscles previously described some have a ten/ 
dinous structure according to the thirdf use [as tendon sheaths]. 
There are five of these in the wrist, one on the inside which 
* Literally 'See the great in the small'. f Text says 'second'. 



rests on the two big muscles which bend the fingers [carpal 
tunnel], and four on the outside. Of the latter the middle 
belongs to the tendons which move the fingers [extensor digi^ 
torum compartment],^^ two are at the radius [extensores pollicis 
longus et hrevis compartment],^^ and the fourth is in the ulna 
[extensor digiti quinti compartment]. 

Different from these [and in the fourth class] are certain 
membranous ligaments round all the joints in the fingers and 
wrist. Others are firm and coarse, such as those which bind 
together the carpal and metacarpal bones of which I must 
speak presendy. If all the muscles are removed, these are clearly 
seen; in fact, while the bones still hold together you can observe 

2J0 the movement of the ligaments of the metacarpus at their union 
with the carpus. When these ligaments are detached, what 
seemed a united mass is at once clearly seen to be separated and 
severed. Because of the shortness of the bones [of the carpus] 
and the closeness of the joints, their movement is not quite 
obvious. (Many people think that all these bones* of the wrist 
are one.) You must separate them at their meeting points by 
cutting the ligaments. Their junction will be apparent if the 
tendons are moved before they are dried up, for there is between 
them a litde articular give which indicates clearly to the close 
observer the places for their severance. If you extend and flex 
the wrist the junction of the bones is visible. If you make an 
incision there you will separate them all from one another and 
see that their appearance is varied. 

27^ While laying bare these spreading ligaments you will notice 
another [medial ligament^ which is round and set opposite the 
tendon which flexes the wrist on the little finger side [flexor 
carpi ulnaris]. In Book I of my De usu partium I have explained 
how it retains the cartilaginous bone [pisiform] which lies 
there upon the articulation of the wrist. In laying bare the liga^ 
ments you will see the tendon of another muscle, that which 
flexes the wrist by the great [i.e. middle] finger [flexor carpi 
radialis]. This tendon appears to unite with the nearest bone 
* Text irrelevantly inserts kai poly mallon = 'and still more'. 


of the carpus at that point lying by its side [trapezium], but 
passes through the ligament to the base of the second* bone in 
the metacarpus. Extreme care is needed not to sever the tendon 
in baring it, nor to assume that it stops at the point on the first 
bone of the wrist where it seems to do so to those who cut 

Observe here also the stylus/like process given off by the ulna 
in a line with the little finger. Anatomists call it styloeides. 272 
If you move round the whole articulation to the side, you will 
see how it is adapted for movements of the wrist in turning 
round the whole hand. Observe exacdy also the movements of 
the radius on the ulna which we make when we turn the hand. 

Chapter ii 

[Extensors and Flexors of Forearm] 

You cannot observe accurately the movements of forearm on 272 
upper arm in flexion or extension until you strip the upper arm 
of all surrounding muscles. Let this then be done, remember^ 
ing that we said that the muscle resting on the radius [hrachio^ 
radialis] reaches up to the humerus and that the muscle under 
it [extensores carpi radiales longus et hrevis], that is, the muscle 
attached to the metacarpals of the index and middle finger, also 
comes up a short way. It is better to preserve the heads of these 
muscles, or at least that of the muscle resting on the radius 
[hrachioradialis], for you will first see it clearly when you lay 275 
bare the anterior muscle of the upper arm [biceps]. You will 
expose it, paying attention firstly to the vein running along 
the whole upper arm [cephalic] called *shoulder vein , and 
secondly to the muscle which occupies, or rather forms, the 
highest part of the shoulder [deltoeides], for it is the only 
muscle that lies there. 

The incision along the vein should be downward (the skin 
here being, of course, removed as well as the membranes 
* Text says 'first'. 



[fasciae] round the muscles). The incision from the highest 
point of the shoulder should be made with attention to the like/ 
nesses and differences of the fibres, from which you will see 
that the outline of the muscle [deltoid] runs to an apex, like a 
triangle, inserted into the humerus. 

This muscle pertains to the shoulder^joint and, alone of 

[Reconstruction of Galen's diagram of deltoid.] 

those that move it, must now be removed to render visible the 
double head of the anterior muscle of the upper arm [biceps]. 
[In the figure] let AB be the collar-bone, BC the spine of the 
scapula; suppose that the fibres* arise between the first and 
third of these points and extend at the one end to B, at the other 
to D, B being the top of the shoulder and D the farthest point 
of the insertion [of the fibres] into the humerus; and that BD 
be the whole [length of the] insertion. Of this muscle we must 
speak again, when we go through the muscles which move 
the shoulder joint. For the present, having noted it, remove it 
and follow what I have to say next. 

The anterior muscle of the arm [hiceps]^ which is clearly 
visible beside the 'shoulder vein' [cephalic] even without dis/ 

* Text reads 'muscles'. 


section, in all, and especially in athletes, has two heads. One 
[caput Ionium] is attached to the ridge on the neck of the 
shoulder blade, the other [caput hreve] to the process which 275 
some call *like an anchor' (ankyroeides), others *like a 
crow's beak' (korakoeides). The ligament of each head is 
strong and nearly round. Follow these heads as they run down 
through the upper arm. By their union they form this muscle 
which, unlike them, neither hangs loosely nor is raised from 
the humerus, but is closely applied to it. It rests unattached as 
far as the elbow/joint upon the smaller muscle lying beneath 
[hrachialis]. There [the^/Vepy] gives rise to its aponeur5sis, 
a strong tendon attached to the radius. It has a share in the 
membranous ligament round the joint [by the lacertus fihrosus] 
by which it flexes the joint, bending it slighdy inwards. 

If this muscle [hicepi\ be removed, you will find another 
beneath which also encircles the humerus. [It arises] from two 
fleshy heads, one at the back of the humerus, the other more to 
the front, the posterior being much higher [hrachialis]. You 
will see them joining to form a single muscle which, passing 2j6 
into a tendon, is attached to the ulna. It flexes the joint and 
bends it slightly outwards. But if both muscles [biceps and 
hrachialis] perform their function correctly, the bend of the 
articulation is inclined neither to right nor left. 

There are thus two anterior muscles which flex the elbow. 
Three others united extend it [triceps]. These you must treat 
as follows: 

First dissect the muscle on the inside of the upper arm under 
the skin [dorso^epitrochlearis corresponding to part of latissi^ 
mus dorsi in man] which has its head near the limit of the muscle 
behind the armpit [latissimus dor si]. (On the nature of this I 
shall speak in explaining the muscles moving the shoulder.) 
Its end reaches the elbow/'joint at the inner condyle of the 
humerus. This termination is membranous and thin. 

When it has been removed, observe the origin of the two 
other muscles which extend the forearm [corresponding to parts 

triceps in man]. Of these one [caput longum] springs from 277 



the lower side of the scapula, about half'way down the upper 
part. The other issues from the back of the upper humerus 
below its head [caput laterale]. These, as they run on, coalesce 
in the upper arm and, continuing, are inserted in the crook of 
the ulna [olecranon] by a flat tendon. If you follow the fibres 
from above longitudinally, this tendon will be seen to be 
twofold, deriving its outer part from the first [part] of the two 
muscles we mentioned and the inner from the second. And if 
you separate each [part] of the muscle from the other and try 
to stretch it, you will see that the whole forearm is extended by 
each but that a difference lies in the lateral inclination to the 
side, for the former inclines outward, the latter inward. 

Another muscle lies under it, surrounding the bone of the 
upper arm obliquely [caput mediale]. This unites with the 
second muscle and is thought to be a part of it by the anatomists, 
as indeed it is, if you think of this muscle as single. But it is 

278 possible actually to separate them along the fibres. If you do this 
you will find that this muscle remains fleshy throughout, and is 
attached to the posterior part of the elbow. If pulled, there seems 
to me to be a straight and direct tension at the elbow joint, deviate 
ing neither to right nor left, though sometimes a little inwards. 

I have now mentioned all the muscles in the arm. Having 
heard them, remember what you ought to know about these 
and about all the phenomena that you observe in dissection. 
For some muscles or tendons or Hgaments you find vary a little, 
some in their course and some only at their end. Again, some 
fuse with their attachments or become attached to what fuses 
with them, or have other such slight differences. If ever, when 
you are dissecting a limb, you see something that contradicts 
what I have written, recognize that this happens infrequently. 
Do not prejudge my work until you yourself have seen, as I 
have, the phenomenon in many examples. 
Here ends my first book. In the second I shall describe ana^' 

27^ tomical procedures on muscles and ligaments in the legs. I 
shall add also the disquisition on the nails, which has reference 
to both limbs. 


[On Muscles and Ligaments of Lower Limh] 

Chapter i 

[Why the Ancients wrote no such Books] 

I commend Marinus,^^ who has written on anatomical pro^ 280 
cedure, without criticizing my other predecessors who have not. 
For them it was superfluous to compose memoranda for them/ 
selves or others since they practised dissection from childhood 
under parental instruction,^^ as they did reading and writing. 
And it was not only professional physicians among our prede/ 
cessors who studied anatomy, but also general philosophers.^^ 
One so instructed from his earliest years would no more forget 
what he had learned from experience than would others the 

In time, however, the art came to be customarily imparted 
not only to kinsmen but to those outside the family. Thus the 
habit of dissection from early years came to be discontinued. 
For when the Art was communicated to [any] favoured adult 
it followed that the instruction became the poorer. 

How much training from childhood counts in everything 
has been made clear, I think, by our forefathers, when they 
called 'educated' (pep aideumenoi) not only those skilled 
in the arts and sciences, but all who had gained some reputa^ 
tion in life, just as they called their opposites 'uneducated' 
(apaideutoi). Hence the Art, being no longer exclusive to 
the Asclepiad family, was ever degenerating from one genera/ 
tion to the next. Thus, too, arose a demand for memoranda to 282 
preserve knowledge. 

Formerly, then, there was no demand for accounts of ana/ 
tomical procedure, nor for the sort of handbooks that were 



first written, so far as I know, by Diodes [c. 360 B.c.]/^ 
Other early physicians followed him and not a few of the 
younger school whom I have mentioned. 

In addition to their other deficiencies such treatises have not 
made clear the usefulness of their matter, but fling together in^* 
discriminately things that can be of the greatest service to the 
Art with others that contribute litde or nothing thereto. It is 
indeed to the good that anatomical theory should be included in 
books on diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment, as Hippocrates 
plainly does. But, since there is danger that such studies may 
perish, because of the litde regard that my contemporaries have 
for the arts and sciences, and further since they themselves no 
longer have practice from their earliest years, I feel justified in 
2% writing these memoranda. Yet had it been possible to preserve 
the oral tradition, such writing would have been superfluous. 

Accordingly I have [here] communicated everything I have 
learned from the beginning to those who find they need it. 
Would that it were possible for all to acquire that knowledge. 
Already I see some who have been taught by me grudging to 
share their knowledge with others. Should they die suddenly 
after me, these studies will die with them."^^ Wherefore I have 
nothing but praise for Marinus^^ for recording his anatomical 
experience, though I was myself compelled to write another 
work on the same theme, since I have found his both incom/ 
plete and obscure.* 

Chapter 2 

[The particular Uses of Dissections] 

283 Almost all anatomists seem to have failed to treat clearly the 
most useful part of the science. What could be more useful to 
a physician for the treatment of war/wounds, for extraction of 
missiles, for excision of bones, for [treatment of] dislocations, 
fractures with ulcerations, &:c., than to know accurately all the 
* This last sentence is, in the text, the opening sentence of the next chapter. 



parts of the arms and legs, and all, not so much of the internal 
as of the external parts of the shoulders and back, breast and 
ribs, abdomen, neck, and head ; For it is from these that we have 284 
to extract weapons, incising the contiguous areas, excising 
some parts, evacuating humours in putrid infections and 
abscesses, and treating ulcers. Again with bones we have to 
cut out some affected parts or open them up. If a man is ignorant 
of the position of a vital nerve, muscle, artery, or important 
vein, he is more likely to maim his patients or to destroy rather 
than save life. 

Certain knowledge, as the number and appearance of the 
muscles of the tongue, would be additional, but not primary 
or essential. I say 'additional' since we must inquire closely into 
such things because of doctrinaire theorizers who, not satisfied 
with the useful side of natural knowledge, are ever demanding 28^ 
*For what is this part ?' * Why is it of this nature or size f An 
intelligent man may grasp the matter sufficiently by two or 
three careful dissections by which is revealed what is useful for 
medical practice and, secondarily, for the knowledge of nature. 
I of all men am entitled to say that such studies in anatomy are 
useless for the treatment, diagnosis, and prognosis of disease. 

[A gap here in text.] . . . escaped the attacks of unscrupulous 
sophists who, neglecting to criticize the theory, turn their 
attack against its authors, professing that their opponents, 
being ignorant of such studies, bring the charge of uselessness 
against them. For their sake, so that ignorance on the part of 
their critics may not provide the sophists with an easy line of 
attack, I have laboured at the purely theoretical as well as the 
practically useful part of anatomy. I have given sufficient proof 
of this in my De usupartium, and now I shall describe anatomical 
procedures on all the parts of the body. But, while doing this, 286 
I also distinguish the value of each of the studies [i.e. theoretical 
and practical] and demonstrate its usefulness. 

Anatomical study has one application for the man of science 
[aner physikos] who loves knowledge for its own sake, 
another for him who values it only to demonstrate that Nature 

B. 2353 D 



does nought in vain, a third for one who provides himself from 
anatomy with data for investigating a function, physical or 
mental, and yet another for the practitioner who has to remove 
splinters and missiles efficiently, to excise parts properly, or to 
treat ulcers, fistulae, and abscesses. Now all this [last application 
of anatomy] is most necessary, and a really good physician must 
first of all have practice in it, and next in the actions of the inner 
organs, which are important for diagnosing diseases. For some 
functions are of greater moment to natural philosophers than 
2^7 to physicians, both for pure knowledge and to show how the 
artifice of Nature is perfectly worked out in every part. 

Chapter 3 

[Why Anatomy is neglected or mistau^ht] 

28J Yet the anatomists have not done this. They have obviously 
elaborated with care the part of anatomy that is completely 
useless to physicians or that which gives them little or only 
occasional help. But they have given far less care to the part that 
needs urgent attention and is most useful and necessary for all 
to know, to wit that concerned with the muscles, nerves, 
arteries, and veins — not just those round the heart or any of the 
internal organs, but those evident in legs, arms, and outer parts 
of the chest, by the spine, breast, ribs, shoulder-blades, abdo^ 
men, neck, or head. 

I have daily seen those ignorant of such things fearing what 
was not to be feared, and confident where confidence was mis/ 
placed. Such, for example, was he who examined suspiciously 
the muscle inside the thigh [gracilis] as if it were of vital import 
tance, when it has neither a large tendon nor an artery nor a 

288 vein, nor does it initiate any of the leg movements^'^ as do the 
muscles that extend or flex the knee. The most useful part of 
the science of anatomy lies in just that exact study neglected by 
the professed experts. It would have been better to be ignorant 
of how many valves there are at each orifice of the heart, or how 


many vessels minister to it, or how or whence they come, or 
how the paired cranial nerves reach the brain, than [not to 
know] what muscles extend and flex the upper and lower arm 
and wrist, or thigh, leg and foot, or what muscles turn each of 
these laterally, or how many tendons there are in each, from 
where they take their rise and how they are placed, or where 
a vein or a great artery and where a small underlie them. 

These things are so necessary to physicians that not even 
the Empirics, who wrote whole books against anatomy, have 
dared to condemn such knowledge. Indeed they admit that ^Sg 
all such knowledge is most useful, though they maintain that 
enough of it can be learned from the wounds that occur from 
time to time. One might well wonder at their temerity, for 
since even those who have devoted much time to anatomy have 
failed to bring it to perfection, one could scarcely acquire it 
from the contemplation of wounds. Perched high on a pro/ 
fessorial chair a man can say these things to his pupils without 
being able to instruct them in the actual practice of the Art. 
For he begins by being ignorant of the parts of the animal 
organs, and even those [among the Empirics] thought to be 
highly expert are acquainted only with the parts clearly visible 
under the skin. 

It is needless to enter into controversy with these men. Nor 
need we be over^zealous to prove that anatomy 'depending on 
cases' and on 'observation of wounds' — these are their own terms 
— is not only unable to teach the precise nature of the parts, but 
that it cannot do so even when carried out with careful atten^ 
tion, unless accompanied by constant practice on many bodies, 
aided by instructions which I repeat in the course of this work. 
One can then disregard those of the Empiric School since they 2^0 
are evidently quibbling. Further censure is due to all the anato/ 
mists whose investigations into such matters have been supers 
ficial. Failing to recognize many tendons or even whole muscles, 
what must one suppose happens to them with nerves, some of 
the finest of which have the greatest power? 

Therefore I call on the young to set aside for the present the 



dissection of brain, heart, tongue, lungs, liver, spleen, kidneys, 
stomach, larynx, as well as embryos and pregnant wombs, and 
first to learn thoroughly how the humerus, scapula, and forearm 
bones are articulated, and to gain knowledge of each of the 
outer parts in the limbs, what muscles move them, and what 
nerves, arteries, and veins are in each part. I put anatomical 
practice on arm and leg before all others, thinking it right that 
2gi the young should go first to what is pressing and of great 
advantage to the Art. 

This was bound to entail the same arrangement in my exposi^ 
tion as that which I followed in my De usu partium, which is 
not only for physicians but also for philosophers. In that work, 
since my subject was the bodily organs, I put first the discourse 
on the hand, for that part is characteristic of man. Now I do 
it not only for that reason but even more to give the young prac/ 
tice first in what is most necessary. For I see that just the oppo/ 
site is being done by those who think themselves fit to deal with 
the subject of anatomy, though they are still ignorant of which 
of the elbow veins has a nerve, or muscle/head, or end of an 
artery under it. For this reason they make grave mistakes in 
venesection. Yet they dissect the heart or tongue of an ox with/ 
out realizing that these are utterly unlike those of a human 

Chapter 4 

[Muscles of the Thigh inserted on the Tihia] 

2^2 In the previous book I explained the practical method in dis/ 
secting the arm muscles. I shall now give a similar account of 
the leg. Until one has learned to recognize these exacdy, it is 
impossible to dissect nerves or vessels or to teach others to do so. 

The skin must be removed with great attention to the origin 
of the sole in the neighbourhood of the heel, lest there be torn 
with the skin that fascia under it [plantaris] by the expansion of 
which (as I pointed out for the hand) the hairless and inflexible 



part of the skin is moved.* Leave the skin there, as with the 
hand, having learned the same lesson [p. 7]. 

You had best dissect first the muscles in the thigh, and then 
either those round the leg, or those by the hip which move the 
head of the femur, and with it the whole thigh. But you may 2^5 
desire to dissect either the leg muscles or those in the hip before 
those in the thigh. If you want to dissect the leg/muscles first, 
remove the ends of the muscles springing from the thigh that 
come down to the leg. If you [want to dissect] the hip/muscles 
first, then remove the heads that come up beyond the knee [to 
the femur]. You will find them without difficulty in the way I 
shall explain, if you start from such conspicuous and well 
recognized points as ham, knee, or shin. You should mark these 
well in starting to dissect, after the skin and underlying mem/ 
branes [fascia] have been removed, for thus the muscles prove 
most manageable, their outlines being distinguished by the dif/ 
ferences in the fibres. 

First on the surface under the skin appears a flat tendon 
[sartoms]y somewhat fleshy, inserted in the tibia below the 
knee, where lies what is called the *shin' (ant ikne mi on). 
This tendon is attached there along the prominent part of the 
tibia, which is fleshless and uncovered, stretching down from 
above as a ridge. The upper end of this muscle (which they call 2^4 
its *head') has a fleshy origin from the middle of the ridge 
[anterior superior spine] of the ilium which is extended length/ 
wise in the animal. In thin subjects its projection is quite visible 
before dissection. Moreover, it [i.e. the ridge] forms a boundary 
between back and front through its length till it ends in an 
acute projection comparable to that of the spine of the scapula 
at its summit [Figs. 5, 16]."^^ 

The muscle runs from the ilium to the inner region of the 
thigh, gradually turning askew. It then descends to the knee/ 
joint, passing round the inner condyle of the femur. Turning 
back thence, it is attached to the tibia slantways, at the part 
where it is fleshless and bare [Fig. 16]. 




Traction on this [sarforius] muscle from its origin brings the 
leg into the position that boys use in the palaestra in *changing 

29s legs', when they throw the other leg on the thigh.'^^ This will 
be plain to you if a large part of the flesh on the leg be removed, 
and still more, if you cut off the foot at the joint. [For though] 
after death large muscles can, when pulled, exhibit their func^ 
tions without the flesh being cut away, this is impossible with 
small ones until most is removed. 

If you attempt to dissect the [thigh] muscles first, it is best to 
remove the ends of any muscles associated with the leg. For thus 
you will see this [sartorius] muscle acting of itself, to move the 
femur and, in conjunction with the calf muscle, to draw up the 
leg as already mentioned. Beyond the point where this [sartorius] 
muscle becomes tendinous is another insertion [^raciliSj larger 
in ape than man] in the strict sense of a tendon passing into 
the tibia. If you follow this to its origin, dissecting away the 
overlying muscle, you pass through the surface parts of the 

2g6 thigh on the inside as far as the pubic bone, where it has its 
head. The front of the [puhic] bone, extending vertically down/ 
wards, is gently rounded [in the ape]. The bones called *pubic* 
(hebes) here meet and fuse through cartilage. There these 
two muscles, one for each leg, are in contact at their origins. 
You can learn their action from their place of origin, from 
their course on the inside of the thigh, and from the area of 
insertion on the tibia. But, even apart from this evidence, you 
can find by the use of your hands how they move the leg, for 
if you pull in the direction of their origin, you will see the leg 
raised and rotated inward. You must recognize such distinct 
tions in the dead animal, having removed most of the parts that 
bend the joints and, if possible, leaving the bones bare of flesh. 
Beside the two muscles just mentioned [sartorius and ^raci^ 

297 lis] there is also engaged, in the same conjunction on the inner 
side of the tibia, a third attachment of a flat tendon [semimem^ 
hranosus proprius of the ape]. It slopes gently downward to the 
site of the oblique muscle [sartorius]. You will find it if you 
follow gradually, as with the two former, the part of the muscle 



that produces the tendon. At first it extends from the inner 
side of the tibia and knee, then, moving up slantwise along 
the ham through the back of the thigh, it reaches the outer and 
lower part of the ischium, at the hairless and fleshless part of 
the ape's rump [ischial tuherosity]. Springing from this, it passes 
obliquely through the thigh; then, within, it reaches the 
tendinous conjunction that we have mentioned, rolling the leg 
backward, as one might say, as dancers often do. (Note here 
this common characteristic of muscles, that if straight^set they 
cause a straight movement, and if oblique, an oblique movQy 
ment.) Among the thigh/muscles, none is more transverse 
since it starts from the outer side of the ischium and is attached 
to the inner side of the tibia. The tibia is thereby pulled back/ 2^8 
ward and upward and rotated, a very complex motion. These 
three muscles [sartorius, gracilis, and semi^memhranosus proprius] 
are joined to the tibia by tendons, which you will have first 
to remove if you want to dissect the leg itself for it is impossible 
to see any of the underlying structures clearly while they are on 
them [Fig. 16]. 

There is another muscle [hiceps femoris, which in the ape has 
only one head], the fourth of those which descend to the tibia. 
Its insertion is not on the inside like the others, but only on the 
outside and plainly to be seen, being fleshy and broad and 
attached along the outer parts of the tibia. Traced upward, it 
becomes narrower* as it approaches its origin which lies at the 
farthest point outside the ischial bone. This origin is also out/ 
side that of the previous muscle. Attached there, its action is 
clear from its position, for it draws the whole leg outward with 
a simple motion. This is obvious by trial, for if you pull the 2gg 
muscle towards its head, the leg follows [Fig. 17]. 

In the case of a certain excellent runner, we saw this muscle 
\hiceps~\ ruptured about the middle while the man was racing. 
After that its place was empty and hollow, for the parts of the 
torn muscle had moved, the upper being pulled toward the 
origin, the lower toward the tibia. When pain and inflammation 
* Text says 'broader*. 



had subsided, walking did him no harm and, taking heart, 
he began running again. Feeling none the worse for this, he 
actually restarted racing and was again victorious. This is not 
surprising, because in running we do not need the sideways 
turn of the [knee] joint, but it suffices to extend and flex it. 
Whence it follows that even the aforementioned three muscles 
in front of this [sartoms, gracilis, and semimemhranosus proprius] 
do not initiate motions in the leg that are essential for everyday 
use of the limb, even in running. 

There is [in the hip region] a fifth muscle [semimemhranosus 
^00 accessorius of the ape, unrepresented in man] in addition to the 
four I have mentioned. It does not reach to the tibia like the 
first three, but [goes] to the lower head of the femur and to the 
place of origin of the muscles of the leg on the inner side. It 
can be dissected not only from this point, but equally well from 
its attachment higher up. It is well to manipulate it at both 
points of contact. If you begin below, you will track it up to its 
head through the back parts of the thigh as far as the ischial 
bone, for the origin of the muscle is united with that of the 
third muscle [semimemhranosus proprius^ of my exposition, as is 
most clearly seen at that point. If you begin from above, you 
have as guide the head of the muscle dissected before [hiceps], 

[Here has dropped from the text an account of the semi^ 
tendinosus. Its origin in the ape is associated with the hiceps on the 
ischial tuberosity. It descends, posterior to the semimemhranosus, 
to its insertion below the tuberosity of the tibia [Fig. 17].] 

Four muscle heads in a row thus spring from the ischium. 
Outermost is that of the flat muscle torn by the runner [hiceps]. 
Second is that which rotates the leg outward [semimemhra^ 
nosus proprius]. Third is that now in question [semimemhrano^ 
joi sus accessorius J Fig. 16] which is [part of] the second and also 
turns the whole limb gently outward — a motion like to but 
less than the second.* And next to this is the fourth [semi^ 
tendinosus]. All these [four] heads issue in a row from the ischial 

* Text reads 'third'. 



When you begin dissecting from above, seek to move down/ 
wsivd through the hinder and inner region of the thigh, that will 
bring you to its condyle, where issues a muscle of the calf on 
the inner side [medial head o[ ^astrocnemms]. You will see its 
head embracing and gripping part of the ligament round the 
joint. If you stretch this muscle at its head, the tibia is seen 
turning backward and somewhat inward on the thigh. This is 
because of the association of the head of this muscle with 
the inner and hinder part of the calf (gastroknemia) 
[Fig. 16]. 

Chapter 5 

[Muscles moving the Knee-joint] 

The thigh muscles are now under discussion. If you remove all 3^^ 
those I mentioned, you will find large muscles still remaining in 
front of, behind, and inside the part. Dissect those in front first. 
They all extend the knee but are variously placed and have dif/ 
ferent origins [Fig. 16]. 

There are four of them [making up the quadriceps femoris]. 
The highest [rectus femoris] springs from the ridge of the iUum 
in a line with the muscle first mentioned [sarforius]^ issuing 
from the parts underneath it. Next is one much larger, lower 
down, and on the outer part of the thigh toward the buttock 
[vastus lateralis]. From this head comes the biggest of the 
anterior muscles of the thigh. It is continuous and united with 
another which runs from about the middle of the thigh to its 
lower end [vastus intermedius].^ Another tendon [vastus mediae 3^3 
lis] also reaches the same place as the muscle [rectus femoris] 
which was just said to spring from the ridge of the ilium. The 
two are seen to be united toward the knee/cap, the 'mill' 
(myle) as it is called. Here they are combined as a very strong 
flat tendon which covers the whole of it in front. This tendon 
* Greek text here inserts two irrelevant lines. 



\ligamentum patellae] extends into the tibia, being itself very 
strong and inextricably attached to its front part beyond the 
articulation [Figs. i6, 17]. 

When you have severed these [attachments of the li^amen/ 
turn patellae'] three* muscle/heads will be clearly seen beneath. 
One [vastus lateralis] arises from the great trochanter, and the 
neck of the femur. The second {vastus intemedius], below the 
former, comes from the anterior region of the femur. It runs 
down straight through the front parts of the thigh as far as the 
304 patella, remaining entirely fleshy. The third [vastus medialis] 
starts higher up, and ends by the inner side of the thigh, acquir/ 
ing a more membranous end. Their ends combine and make 
one, wherefore the anatomists pronounce them a single muscle, 
though it has three headsf which generate a very strong tendon. 
Why of all the muscles to the knee these should be the most 
powerful extenders is obvious. For unless they act vigorously it 
would be impossible to stand upright and, were all the others 
destroyed, these alone could suffice to maintain the tension. 

Flexion of the thigh is to be classed as a less energetic action. 
That movement is comparable to what happens when we raise 
a leg, sustaining the whole body's weight on the other firmly 
planted on the ground. For this reason Nature did not assign 
this leg4ifting function to so many or to such large muscles. Of 
those already mentioned there is actually one only [semiten/ 
dinosus] in contact with the head of the calf muscle (which, I 
said, has come into being to bend the leg), and this does not so 
much bend it as turn it inward, for its bending action is both 
30s slight and obscure [Fig. 17]. 

People think that the *large muscle' [adductor magnus] flexes 
the [knee] joint by itself That muscle, however, which occupies 
practically the whole postero^^medial part of the thigh, draws 
the leg after it little if at all, because its end only just reaches 
the parts round the knee-joint, while the ligament [of the joint] 

* Text says 'two'. 

f Text here adds 'just like those on the surface, of which I have spoken', the 
meaning of which is not clear. 


lies all round it. It is not in the least degree inserted in the tibia, 
but they were driven to represent this muscle as the cause of the 
bend at the knee because they were ignorant of another muscle 
[popUteus], concealed in the joint, which could effect the flexion 
itself or had more power to do so than any other. It cannot be 
seen until you remove the muscles that move the calf Therefore 
I do not speak of it now, but in the due order of dissection I 
will explain its nature when it is laid bare. 

Chapter 6 

[Muscles of the Hip] 

When the muscles round the thigh have been cut away, except 306 
only the large one [adductor mass], you may dissect both those 
that move the hip/joint itself and those round the leg. Suppose 
that we deal first with those that move the hip^joint. Among 
them, we said, is the great muscle of the thigh [adductor ma^nus]. 
(Some think, mistakenly as I explained [p. 42], that it moves 
the knee/joint.) 

Starting from this muscle, examine [a] the fibres which come 
from the back of the femur [at the Unea aspera] and pass up 
toward the ischium [adductor magnus, posterior division]; and 
[h] the fibres on the inner side [adductor lon^us] which reach 
the inner part of the pubic bone [i.e. the inner part of the pubic 
angle], for the muscle arising from that whole region is thus 
attached to the innominate bone by its union with the lowest 
part of the pubic bone. By the vertical fibres behind, it bends 
the hip/joint. (If it move the knee/joint at all it will do so by 
these and by no others, whereas those [fibres] which you will 
see carried up from the side parts to the pubic bone adduct 3'^7 
the thigh.) Sometimes this muscle [adductor ma^nus in the ape] 
seems to present two or three different divisions, forming, as it 
were, two or three muscles, and sometimes only one or two. At 
all events, it has a certain contour attached to the inner part of 
the femur in its middle and upper middle region [Fig. 16]. 



Sever this muscle [adductor mass] from the pubic bone 
with care, leaving intact the underlying muscle which occupies 
the great foramen [obturator externus]. This [latter] muscle 
passes into a tendon, of which I shall speak later. In separating 
the great muscle from the pubic bone, spare not only that 
muscle which occupies the foramen but also that set low down 
which in these animals is throughout of dark colour [pec^ 
tineus]. It issues from the deeper parts of the pubic bone and is 
united to the lower part of the small trochanter by a tendon 
strong in proportion to the size of the muscle. The tendon is 
^08 implanted in the inner part of the trochanter; it is fleshy 
throughout and not merely sinewy. 

Another muscle [iliopsoas] produces a yet stronger tendon of 
attachment. This runs down, continuous with the muscle just 
mentioned [pectineus] to the remaining part of the small tro/ 
chanter which it embraces. It comes from the parts above, aris^ 
ing both from the ilium and from both loin/muscles. Obviously 
this muscle cannot be examined without cutting through all 
the muscles in the region of the body/wall (epigastrion) 
and removing everything that lies on the loins. You will [then] 
see clearly that it is the only muscle in the loin region that is 
threefold. In its inside portion [psoas minor] , by a strong liga/ 
mentous tendon, it reaches down to that part where the pubic 
bone ends next the ilium. In the outer part [iliacus], by another 
short, and much lighter aponeurosis, it arises from the ilium. 
The other [and third] part [psoas major] moves downwards 
between the aponeuroses, amalgamating with the muscle that 
3'^9 attaches to the whole ilium within [iliacus] and producing the 
aforesaid tendon which unites with the small trochanter. From 
its position you realize that it flexes the thigh and rotates it 
inwards. If you put actual tension on it, you will see it pro/' 
ducing this effect, the opposite to that of the back part of the 
big muscle [quadriceps] that we spoke of before [p. 41]. 

It is obvious that the small, livid muscle [pectineus] initiates 
oblique motion towards the inside in the thigh. 

In this region you will find no other muscle attached to the 



femur, but proceeding to the external muscles, you will find 
them all attached round the head of the bone near the great 
trochanter. The first among these is set on the surface under the 
skin [tensor fasciae latae\ springing from the whole straight 
ridge of the ilium. This part [of the muscle] is entirely fleshy, 
but it becomes membranous and soon a membrane in the strict 
sense and of a ligamentous nature [tractus ilioHihialis of ape]. 
It is placed upon the higher parts of the ilium which tend to slope 
backward, being continuous with the end of the spinal muscles. 310 

Where this membranous part [of the tensor] ends, there is a 
second fleshy process, opposite the one first mentioned, namely, 
that from the ilium. This process issues from the side parts of 
the coccyx, embracing also the back parts [gluteal fascia']. You 
must remove it, tracing the fibres downwards and stripping it 
off from all the underlying tissues, with a blunt lancet. These 
tissues lying between coccyx and inside* edge of the ischium 
are membranous and resistant, rather than fleshy. But all which 
passes toward the hip/joint [gluteus maximus] and is continue 
ous with it is fleshy, and fuses with the [membranous] head 
that issues from the coccyx. For a short way, then, strip off 
these tissues, too, from the underlying structures, together with 
those that correspond to them that issue from the ilium, and 
also their membranous centre [i.e. from the dorsal fascia over pi 
the sacrum]. Thus you will lay bare the top of the femur and 
find the twofold termination of the muscle, one [part] uniting 
with the back parts of the femur set roughly in a line with the 
fibres from the ischium to the coccyx [i.e. the tract known as 
gluteal fascia in man], the other [part] passing into a flat mem^ 
branous tendon which embraces the front muscles of the thigh 
[tractus ilio4ihialis of ape] coalescing with the fascia which we 
said before ran down to the knee [fascia lata, traceable to patella 
and leg in apes] [Fig. I7].f 

When this muscle has been removed, there remains another 
[gluteus medius, larger than gluteus maximus in Macaca though 
* Text reads 'outside*. 

t Here follow seven lines devoid of clear anatomical meaning. 



less marked in Semnopithecus]. It is strong and fleshy throughout 
and issues from roughly the whole back of the iUum and em/ 
braces to some extent also the neighbouring bones [namely 
those of the sacrum]. Its tendon is attached to the apex of the 
512 great trochanter, extending even in front. 

In dissecting this muscle you must pay attention to a certain 
small muscle [gluteus minimus] which arises from the outer and 
lower parts of the ilium. You may think this to be part of the 
*large muscle' [gluteus medius] unless you examine its outline 
carefully. Not only has it an origin continuous with it [i.e. 
with gluteus medius], but it is also continuous with it as far as 
its insertion into the great trochanter. Further, its continuity is 
rather more in the inner parts than elsewhere. It also extends the 
thigh with a slight inclination outward.* 

Another muscle [piriformis], dark in colour [and very robust 
in Macaco], is hidden there under the *large muscle' [gluteus 
medius], having itself a like position. It is more easily discerned 
than the muscle mentioned before [gluteus minimus], because of 
its hue. This muscle arises from the inner lateral parts of the 
sacrum [i.e. from the transverse processes of the last two sacral 
vertebrae, being somewhat different in man], and it is clear that 
it can rotate the head of the thigh to those parts. It is inserted 
in the great trochanter lower than the 'large muscle' [gluteus 
medius]. These three muscles [gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and 
3^3 piriformis] are thus all attached to the great trochanter. 

Next there are two others [ohturatores externus et internus] that 
are completely hidden, which rotate the head of the femur out/ 
wards,f being attached by strong tendons in the hollow [digital 
fossa] by the large trochanter. Both arise from the pubic bone 
and occupy the [obturator] foramen, the one inside, the other 
outside. They pass out by the neck of the femur and both alike 
approach the trochanter at the aforesaid hollow. The posterior 
muscle [obturator internus] is attached higher than the anterior 
[obturator externus]. When you cut the latter from the pubis, try 

* Text says 'inward' but the actions of the glutei are very complex, 
f Reading exo for es6. 


to preserve the common [ohturator] membrane which underlies 
both. It occupies the whole foramen. Many muscles arise [in 
the bone] here, which pass to the bones lying beside the fora/ 
men on either side. 

You will loosen the outer muscle [ohturator externus] with/' 
out difficulty. But if you wish to observe clearly the inner 
[ohturator internus], you must sever the symphysis puhis with a 314 
strong lancet. You will do this easily, for a cartilage lies between, 
drawing and binding the pubic bones together. If you cut 
along this, the incision will not be difficult and, the bones once 
severed, the muscle comes plainly to view. This is easier if, 
having separated the bones, you grasp the ilia and forcibly bend 
them outward. Thus they are loosened and parted from the 
sacrum, so that the whole is everted and the inner portion of the 
pubic bone displayed. 

For the present it suffices to remove the attachment of the 
[ohturator internus] muscle here. Later you will hear, in the 
anatomy of the rectum, how first to lay bare the covering 
membrane [ ? pelvic fascia, ? levator ant] which looks like a kind 
of wrapping. Yet it is not a wrapping of this muscle but is a 
sort of thin elastic membrane* running down to the anus on 
either side. Like the previous muscles [ohturatores\ it was quite 
unknown to all the anatomists, but when we come to the ana^ 5^5 
tomy of the rectal region these muscles will be more fully dis^ 

The muscle that is now under discussion, that within the 
pubic bone [ohturator internus], produces at the great tro^ 
chanter a motion opposite, but like in result, to that of its 
anterior fellow [ohturator externus]. Both turn the head of the 
thigh outwards,"!" the one through the front parts of the articula/ 
tion, the other through the back parts. Such then is the anatomy 
of the muscles moving the hip/joint. 

* Literally 'membranous muscle', 
f Reading exo for eso. 


Chapter 7 

[Muscles of the Le£\ 

^16 It is now time to pass to the muscles in the leg. These can be 
dissected, as I have said, after those in the hip, but also before, 
if you remove the muscles in the thigh that run down into the 
leg. When they are gone, two muscle^heads [ gastrocnemius] are 
clearly visible. They arise from the back of the femur at the 
roots of the condyles. Thus their heads encircle these condyles. 
For this reason, each attaching tendon contains a rounded 
cartilage [sesamoid in apes]^^ which it shares with the most con/ 
vex part of the condyle. Passing through the ham to the calf, 
the heads join and become one. 

At this point a considerable strand splits off from the outer 
head. This becomes a muscle [plantaris, larger in apes than in 
man] ending gradually in a flat aponeurosis under the sole, as 
I explained for the hand in Book I. Lay this muscle bare in 
two different ways, as I said [p. 7], and you will see that it is 
like in form [to that in the hand] and is united to the muscle 
at present under discussion [i.e. to gastrocnemius]. 

From the two muscular heads in the calf, there springs a 
tendon [tendo calcaneus] which lies beneath and adjoins the 
aforementioned muscle [plantaris]. It is inserted into the end of 
the heel at the back and can pull the heel that way. 

517 Continuous with this muscle you will find an attachment 
higher up, belonging to another muscle [soleus\ mostly of 
dark colour, which springs from the fibula* at its highest part. 
These muscles at the back of the calf, whether you choose to 
count them as three [the triceps surae] or four [including 
plantaris], all reach the heel [tuher calcanei] and underside 
of the foot. 

There are other muscles continuous with them, not exactly 
at the back, but rather to the side and within the leg, which 
reach to the underside of the foot [fiexores di^itorum fhularis et 
tibialis]. At the point where they yield tendons, a ligament 
* Text says 'tibia'. 



[flexor retinaculum] is laid over them which passes out of the 
tibia into the calcaneum. If you divide this with a straight cut, 
as in the hand, and follow the tendons, you will find them all 
inserted into the digits. Yet it is not, as in the hand, that one 
moves the middle joint and the other the first and third, but 
both move all three. The hallux is excepted, for the tendon that 
moves it reaches the second and third joints as with the hand. 

The divisions of the heads of the two muscles that I have 5^5 
spoken of [flexores digitorum tibialis et fbularis] are not always dis/ 
tributed in the same way, for often the one moves the toe corre/ 
sponding to the index and the litde toe, the other moves the 
middle and the fourth toes, while both, united in a common 
tendon, move the big toe. Sometimes again it is their fusion 
that varies. Thus the heads of these tendons are between cal/ 
caneum and tibia and they differ only in that one [flexor dipy 
torum fihularis] is placed at the lower end of the talus where it 
lies beside the calcaneum. This head has a ligament of its own 
apart from the common [flexor retinaculum] ligament."^^ 

A third tendon [tibialis posterior] arises at the very end of the 
tibia and is fixed firmly on it, while it is bound by a ligament 
[of the retinaculum] which again is peculiar to it. This tendon 
itself bends the whole foot backwards, as do those inserted in 
the heel. The end of it fuses with the first bone of the tarsus 
on the inner side [navicular]. 

When each of these muscles has been dissected, turn to those 
on the outer side of the leg, of which there are three, so far as 319 
origins go, but in respect of tendons of insertion and motions 
induced — to which above all you must attend — there are many 
more. When you have removed the membranes there under the 
skin, you will see a ligament like that on the outside of the hand, 
under which passed all the tendons which extend the fingers 
[extensor retinaculum]. This ligament is much longer and 
stronger* than that [in the hand], particularly if you consider 
the difference in the limbs. For the ligaments in the foot, as 
Nature has made them more numerous, so are they stronger, 
* Text says 'more slender'. 

B. 2353 E 



being meant for more energetic functions. This ligament is 
slightly aslant and not at right/angles, like that in the wrist. It 
is attached to the end of the tibia and to that of the calcaneum. 
You must cut it, too, along the axis of the Hmb and, stretching 
the parts to their origins and baring the underlying tendons, 
begin the demonstration of the muscles as entities. They lead 
po you down to the tarsus and up to the leg. 

First you will see a muscle [ peroneus longus] extending along 
the fibula to its upper head. The end [of this muscle] is secured 
by ligaments and inserted in the tarsus in the line of the big toe, 
reaching out a litde beyond to the inner and lower region [of 
the foot]. You will see a second muscle [fexor digitorum fihu^ 
laris or fexor hallucis lon^us] lying beside this and thought to be 
part of it, as it has a common head above and lies along it on 
the outside throughout the leg, but its tendon is inserted into 
the head of the first phalanx of the big toe [and into digits III 
and IV]. So, if you recall the dissection of the hand, the parallel 
is clear between this twofold muscle and that in the hands that 
is common to wrist and thumb [flexor di^itorum profundus and 
flexor pollicis longus]. 

Continuous with this is another thin muscle [tihialis 
anterior] set in the region between fibula and tibia. It is inserted 
into the side part of the big toe as a whole, being exactly 
parallel to the small muscle in the hand which is thought to be 
a part of the muscle that gives the three bigger fingers their 
321 oblique motion on the outside. But this tendon in the foot, 
when it approaches the hallux, passes through a ligament hav/ 
ing the same function as the small rings on chariots.*"^^ 

After these muscles, consider the tendon/head lying under 
the [transverse] ligament assigned to it [on the dorsum, i.e. 
extensor digitorum lon£us], like these aforementioned heads [on 
the inner side]. They are plain enough to an attentive observer. 
If you start from it in a downward direction you find four ten/ 
dons which extend the four toes, comparable to those on the 
dorsa of the hands. Over this muscle you will see another 
* See p. 52. The insertion is inaccurately given. 



[extensor hallucis lon^us] of which the origin is on the fibula and 
the insertion at the end of the tarsus in the great toe a Httle 
above the inner side. You may see the head of this muscle 
bound by a certain ligament that arises on the inner* side of the 
tibia and inserted into the neighbouring fibula [corresponding 
to a part of the anterior talo^fihular ligament in man] which is 
like many another slender ligament which retains muscle 

Chapter 8t 

[Muscles arising from the Fibula] 

The muscles [just described] lie toward the front of the leg. 322 
Other three from a single head are in the outer part. They have 
a ligament in line with them which runs down from the fibula 
to the heel [superficial peroneal retinaculum]. When it is loosened, 
you will see that there are three tendons of the muscles. One, of 
a considerable size [peroneus longus] passes gradually to the 
outer region of the tarsus and from there, passing aslant across 
the sole, reaches the head of the first bone [metatarsal] of the big 
toe. It obviously bends it at the articulation. Where it makes the 
turn, as it were, round the tarsus, travelling down from the 
upper parts to the lower, you will find a [sesamoid] cartilage [os 
Vesalianum] coalescing with the tendon. . . .ij: 

The foot of an ape differs from that of man because this 
animal has toes different in nature. For human toes are much 
smaller than the fingers, while the toes of apes are larger, like 
the toes of creeping animals, and are deeply cleft and separated. 
It is by these the ape climbs so easily, as do weasels, mice, 525 
martens, Sec, 

. . .§ As I said, you will not find this tendon [of the quadratus 
* Text says *outer'. 

f The text of this chapter is much disturbed. 

X Here should come descriptions of the peroneus hrevis and the peroneus 
minimi digiti, but they are missing from the text. 
§ Here a hiatus in the text. 



plantae] in the human foot [which is very different from that of 
the ape] but the thin tendon lying alongside it which springs 
from the small muscle, drawing the little toe outwards \ahducy 
tor di^iti minimi]^ you will find in human beings, as you will the 
next which bends back and turns upwards the whole foot 
[tibialis posterior] in that part. The latter has a close parallel 
with that in the lower arm in line with the litde finger [fexor 
carpi ulmris]. Its tendon sometimes becomes cloven on the side 
of its origin and the tendon that draws the little toe outward 
[ahductor digiti minimi'] passes through the parts of it. If it chance 
not to be split, the membranous ligament that surrounds it 
receives, between itself and the tendon, the other which passes 
to the little toe, performing the same service for it as the small 
rings on chariots through which they thread the reins. Of like 
nature is another ring formed by a ligament in the big toe 
which serves as an outlet for the tendon. . . 

These three muscles have a united origin. The first/ 
mentioned in the tarsus forms a connexion with the lower parts 
of the foot from the upper parts of the heel, being set under the 
skin near the surface, having originated from delicate ligaments 
attached to portions of fiesh. The second has its beginning 
where the head of the above-mentioned muscle ends, and not 
far from its beginning this second muscle ends in a round 
tendon, being itself thin throughout. The third turns the whole 
foot upwards and springs from the remaining part of the heel.f 
This muscle stretches up the foot with an inclination towards 
the inside, whereas the muscle that coalesces with the big toe 
bends it outwards, and when both are stretched at once, they 
extend the foot straight backwards.^ ^ 
* There is a small hiatus here. 

f Reading pterne for perone. Here three lines of repetition. 


Chapter 9 

[Muscles of Foot unknown to Galen s Predecessors^ 

These muscles were dissected by our predecessors, if not with 3^4 
complete thoroughness and accuracy, at least fairly well. Those 
I shall now discuss were almost entirely unknown. 5^5 

The first of notable thickness and strength, if not length, is 
hidden in the joint behind the knee [popliteus]. You will find 
it after removing the muscles at the back that run down to the 
calf [gastrocnemius] which were earlier subjects of dissection 
in my treatise [pp. 40-41]. This [popliteus] muscle lies between 
the heads of the other, occupying almost the whole breadth of 
the leg there. 

Its origin is a very strong ligament arising from the outer 
condyle of the femur. You will find it if you dissect the liga^' 
ment of the articulation which, springing from the outer parts 
of femur and fibula, fastens them together and binds the whole 
joint [arcuate popliteal and lateral ligaments]. The muscle is 
[partly] hidden under the ligament and ascends obliquely from 
the fleshy substance of the calf across the back of the knee to 
the condyle where its head is. 

Its head is formed at the condyle within and in front of the 
[capsular] ligament that binds together the whole articulation. ^26 
If you pull on its head you will see the leg bend. As this muscle 
is itself short the tibia — surrounded by much flesh — is attached 
short. If you remove the f^esh [of the leg] and lay the foot bare, 
you will readily see the tibia drawn back, with a slight outward 
swerve, by the ligament and muscle in question. 

It is not remarkable that this [popliteus] muscle remained un/ 
known, for its head is hidden. But for the muscles in the foot, 
I cannot say why they were overlooked, particularly by those 
who examined the seven intrinsic muscles of the hand. For in 
that too they missed the muscles lying deep down on the bones 
[interossei], as I have already said, though not the conspicuous 

In the foot there are four kinds of muscle (not two as in the 



hand), three in the sole, and one in the upper parts upon the 

The latter [kind, on the dorsum] involves two muscles [ex^ 
tensor digitorum hrevis and extensor hallucis hreuis]. They produce 

527 oblique movements in the toes, analogous to those produced in 
the fingers by the muscles on the outside [i.e. dorsum] of the hand. 

Those underneath the foot, which are seven, as with the hand, 
give an oblique movement to each toe. Of these [seven], as in 
the hand two emerge from the first bones at the wrist, so in the 
foot two from the first bones in the tarsus draw away [digits I 
and V] from the other toes [ahductor hallucis and ahductor 
digiti minimi]. The other five [muscles] will be mentioned later. 

The others in the lower parts are small muscles [lumhri^ 
cales\ springing from the flexor tendons [of the jlexores digi^ 
torum fihularis et tihialis] before they are cleft in each of the toes. 
The function of these muscles is to bend the middle joint of 
each toe. Other smaller muscles [contrahentes] are attached to 
the tendons already split. They have an exact parallel with the 
muscles in the hand that initiate an oblique movement in each 
finger. They, too, are four in number.^^ When two muscles 
are added that I have already mentioned, which draw back the 
ends of the toes as far as possible, their total becomes seven. 

32S A third kind is that of the muscles in the feet [interossei] 
beneath those attached to the bones, analogous to those in the 
hand that remained completely unknown. These of course 
you will see if you remove all the tendons, as with the hand. 
Their whole arrangement, number, and function corresponds 
to those of the muscles in the hand that I have previously men/ 
tioned. Two, set in front of the first articulation, bend the toes 
to some degree, together making a balanced movement, but 
each separately swerving* slightly toward the side. Sometimes 
they are so continuous with one another that there seems but one 
muscle in each toe. When these muscles have been dissected, 
there is no other left in the limb. 



Chapter lo 

[Some Ligaments of Leg and Foot] 

As with the arm you examined the ligaments of the bones, so 5^^ 
now examine those of all the exposed joints and first of the hip. 
This has one Hgament embracing it [capsular ligament], as with 
all joints. A second, hidden in the depths of the joint [liga^ 3^9 
mentum teres], ties the head of the femur to the hollow in the 
hip/bone [acetabulum]. It is so tough that it could be called a 
'cartilaginous sinew'. 

Examine the Hgament that encircles the articulation, to find 
whether all parts of it are equally thick and strong, or whether 
some exceed others. Do likewise with the knee-joint and further 
with those in the foot, keeping even tension on the ligaments, 
for if you let one part shrink while you stretch and distend 
another, the latter will appear weaker. In these articulations you 
will find no great projection of the parts in the embracing liga/ 
ment though some will be seen in the foot, as I shall indicate. 

The knee/joint, however, has several other ligaments [besides 
the capsular]. One is deep down [cruciate] comparable to 
that hidden in the hip/joint but twofold in the knee.* There 550 
are two others at the sides [collateral ligaments]. The outer [of 
these] — which I mentioned in describing the muscle behind 
the knee overlooked by the anatomists [popliteus, p. 53] — Hnks 
femur and fibula. The lower end of it towards the fibula is 
placed under the insertion of the muscle [peroneus longus] the 
tendons of which, passing round the outer side of the tarsus, 
reach, I said, the first joint of the big toe. This [fibular coU 
lateral] ligament is carried rather to the front of the fibula than 
to the side. The inner [tibial collateral] ligament is thinner and 
weaker than the outer. It arises likewise from the condyle of the 
femur and likewise is not attached exacdy at the side of the 
tibia, but somewhat anteriorly. 

In the knee/joint are other cartilaginous Hgaments [menisci] 
encircling each condyle of the tibia. They meet where the 
* Text reads 'thigh'. 



hollows of the tibia adjoin. They produce a single strong carti/ 

331 laginous tendon in that region, inserted into the part between 
the condyles of the femur {anterior cruciate ligament']. Dividing 
the joint — for it lies between the cavities [at the head] of the tibia 
and the condyles of the femur — it slips away in course of time 
and the space between the cavities at the head of the tibia appears 
as empty, though it was higher up when the animal was alive. 

I shall examine in their turn the remaining ligaments in the 
foot, first mentioning those you removed to observe the tendons. 
Some of them do no service to the articulations themselves. 
[Such are] those in one portion of the bone, Hke that [flexor 
retinaculum] which embraces the tendon/head at the back which 
flexes the toes, and that which is attached at the end of the tibia 
and grasps the tendon that dorsiflexes the whole foot [extensor 
retinaculum]. Moreover, the bones, into which these tendons are 
inserted, have ligaments which* extend from one [bone] to 

332 another, as does the ligament on the surface from the end of the 
tibia to the calcaneum [deltoid ligament], which both holds 
together the tendons beneath it and at the same time clamps 
the bones. Thus the ligaments in front which fasten the tibia 
to the fibula [superior extensor retinaculum] both bind these 
together and serve as a shield for the tendons lying beneath, just 
as the anterolateral ligaments [superior peroneal retinaculum], 
guarding the tendons there, not only protect and clamp them 
securely but also fasten and bind fibula to calcaneum. Thus such 
ligaments are shared between the bones themselves, which they 
unite and the muscles beneath them.f 

You will find other ligaments which are peculiar to the 
articulations as such and are more fibrous. You will recognize 
these [as mostly] hidden in the depths, though some are ex/ 
tended on the outside like those that guard the tendons. Thus 
there is a longish ligament [anterior taloflhular] not strong like 
the others — which springs from the same root as the ligament 

333 in front [anterior inferior tihiofhular ligament]. The latter is 

* It has been necessary to remove a negative here and to make some other 
adjustments in the text to obtain sense. f Here three lines of repetition. 


attached to the fibula. The former does not, like the latter, itself 
bind tibia to fibula, but at a lower level it passes towards the 
outer region and down through the frontal projection of the 
talus almost hidden by it. Its end reaches the bone of the heel 
[calcaneofhular ligament]. Under the origin of this ligament, 
there is another [lateral talocalcaneal ligament] issuing from the end 
of the fibula* continuous with the [capsular] ligament encircling 
the whole articulation. Its end is not much behind the [malleoy 
lar] process, immediately crossing the joint towards the fibula. 

Next that ligament, at the bottom of the tibia, is a more 
fibro^cartilaginous ligament [deltoid] through which the tibia 
is united to the inside surface of the talus, just where the tibia 
receives it. In the same way another on the outside joins fibula 
to talus [posterior talofibular ligament]. A third, issuing at the 
very foot of the neck in the talus [portion of posterior talo^ 
fibular ligament], passes into the calcaneum. And a fourth, in 
the front parts, binds the head of the talus to the navicular 55^ 
[talonavicular ligament]. 

All these four ligaments connect the navicular to the sur/ 
rounding bones and are fairly fibro^cartilaginous, as are those 
that bind deep down the joints at hip and knee. Thus in the 
foot the talus, being articulated with four bones, its fibro^ 
cartilaginous ligament passes down to each in the depths, out/ 
side to the fibula, inside to the tibia, below to the calcaneum, 
in front to the navicular. 

As all the bones of the carpus are embraced by a strong liga/ 
ment, so, but to a greater degree, a strong ligament embraces 
all the bones of the tarsus. Some of them are united with each 
other by certain other natural junctions, small but firm. 

Chapter ii 

[On the Nails] 

It remains to give an exposition on the nature of the nails. 334 
This [exposition] has two parts, one applies to all bodies made 
* Text reads 'tibia'. 



335 of homogeneous particles (homoiomeri a),^^ the other to the 
nails alone. Some think that they come into being as a mingling 
of bone, sinew, and skin, [all HOMOiOMERiA],to which some 
add flesh. That the nails partake of the nature of all these is clear, 
but it is impossible to see that their substance has come into 
being out of them, for every homoiomerious body is formed so 
by nature from the matter that is the substrate of the animal. The 
lower arm is not generated from the upper as are nerves from 
brain, nor is the wrist [generated] from the lower arm, nor are 
the bones of the fingers [generated] from it [the wrist]. For 
there is no small difference between joining with a thing [as 
bone to bone] and growing out of a thing, as branches from 
trunks and twigs from branches, or as arteries and veins are 
divided off [from their trunks]. For what grows from a thing 
must have its nature, as an offshoot of its substance. Nerves are 
offshoots from brain/substance, but a nail is no such offshoot 

jj6 from the tip of finger or toe, but is of another kind of substance, 

as are the stone and tiles and bricks of a house. 

The manner of construction of the living creature is like 

that of the external objects that men fabricate, putting together 

different substances into one [whole]. They fasten them together, 

making that which they form out of them. Yet a brick does not 

spring from a tile or a stone. Rather there are certain substances 

invented for combining them, as clay and glue and nails and 

bolts and ropes. Sometimes the method is one of mere juxta/ 

position, as with things nailed in or fitted in. So with the 

works of Nature; some things she fixes in, as teeth in gums; 

some she puts together as with a buckle (gigglymoeides), 

as the bones at the cranial sutures; some she attaches as with 

glue, as those joined by a cartilage; some as with clay, as those 

joined by flesh; and some as with rope, as those joined by a 
ligament. ^4 

The nails she has united to the ends of the last internodes by 
337 a ligament and by a natural junction with flesh and skin, lay/ 
ing the former underneath throughout and making the latter 
grow round the whole root outside. Not only a nerve, but also 



an artery and vein reach the very root [of the nail]. From these 
the nail derives sustenance, life, and sensation — as do the other 
parts — but none of them [the parts] comes from the conjunct 
tion of these three tissues, still less from their mingling together, 
as Erasistratus conceived. He advanced an opinion which 
v^as clearly at variance with the observed facts, for the sub/ 
stance of the organs is obviously different from the essence of 
these three, as I showed in the third book of my work on the 
anatomy of Hippocrates.^^ 

Stomach, bladder, and uterus are each so made by Nature. 
Each has its nerve for sensation, with vein and artery for sus/ 
tenance and life, all demonstrably distributed through them, 
like irrigation channels through a garden. But this is not so 55^ 
with the nails, for they grow up from below, Hke the hair. 
Like hair, it is well that they be continually renewed and growth 
never cease, for they are worn away. 

The nails, being a different kind of substance, were joined to 
an artery and vein and nerve at their root to ensure life, nourish/ 
ment and sensation. And they were fastened to the bone and 
the skin so as not to hang loose, for they, too, had to be a part 
naturally united to the whole organism, like the others. But if, 
on the ground that they are harder than sinew and skin and 
softer than bone, it be urged that they are compounded from 
the substance of these, then it must be said that everything else 
has come into being so; cartilage from bone and Hgament 
mixed; ligament from cartilage and nerve; nerve again from 
brain and ligament. For nerve is intermediate between these 
two combinations, not that it was made what it is by the 
mixing of the brain with ligament, but by compression alone.^^ 
For ice too is produced from water when congealed by cold. 
Let them say then that ice too comes from water and stone, 339 
completely mixed with one another, if they think that every/ 
thing that is intermediate between two bodies, not having their 
function or structure, is produced by a ^mixture' of these two.^^ 


[NerveSj VeinSj and Arteries of Hand and Foot] 

Chapter i 

[Need for Anatomy of surgically accessible Parts] 

^40 Those who neglect practice in the Art and rather regard sophism 
tical theories, concern themselves little with the exact nature of 
the limbs. But how can they treat dislocations, whether simple 
or compound, or fractures and sphacelus of the bones; how 
can they even open abscesses (aposkemmata),^^ or excise 

341 gangrenes, or remove a missile or splinter properly if they have 
not learnt enough to open a vein correctly ; I expect beginners 
to practise all such methods [of study] first because I see their 
necessity, and second because, if the time needed to learn them 
is but short, as they think, then the shame of ignorance is so 
much the greater. 

The limbs then are made up of bones, ligaments, muscles, 
arteries, veins, nerves, and the wrapping of them all, to wit the 
skin. As to the nature of the latter the professed experts in 
anatomy were mistaken about certain parts, notably as to the 
palm and the sole. Because of such ignorance a certain surgeon 
of repute, excising a sphacelation in the wrist, rendered the 
palm insensitive. Not long ago, being present with another 
practitioner who was treating this part, I showed him the region 
where the tendon attached under the hairless part of the hand 

342 begins to widen [into palmar fascia], and suggested that he take 
care not to sever it. Thus the patient retained his power of feel^ 
ing. For should the tendon mortify and you have predicted the 
consequent loss of sensation [from injury to the median nerve], 
you will escape reproach. So too if the tendon be severed by 
some sharp missile as happened in one case, the physician will 
escape blame if he foretell the event.^^ 

It is thus proper to know these facts about the palm of the 



hand, and the sole of the foot, and many other things as to 
arteries, veins, and nerves. First, sensation and movement in all 
the fingers or toes do not depend on the same nerve. Secondly, 
of all the nerves that run down into them, in the upper Hmb 
through arm and forearm, and in the lower through thigh and 
leg [a small hiatus here] . . . and when sometimes they cut a 
nerve in the thigh, they make some of the fingers and toes in^ 
sensitive or immovable. This happens to them because of their 
ignorance of the nerves. 

There are thousands of other mishaps because some practi/ 343 
tioners do not know the veins and arteries well enough to avoid 
injury in operating. So, when they are excising bones or open/ 
ing abscesses, they cut through important veins and sometimes, 
by severing large arteries, they are confronted by uncontrollable 
haemorrhage. Again some, in opening a vein, may cut an 
artery, being ignorant as to which of the veins in the limbs have 
companion arteries.^^ 

The case of my patient deprived of sensation in the Htde 
fingers [digits IV and V] and half of the middle finger [i.e. 
parts supplied by C.7 and 8] is known to all because of his 
celebrity as a sophist. Doctors of the third [Methodist]^^ School 
were treating him and making a fuss over the fingers, as if they 
alone were affected, while the condition had origin at the point 
where the nerve first emerges from the spinal marrow. The 
Methodists were putting applications on the fingers, using [pre/ 
parations of] a kind first 'relaxing' and then 'constrictive' — as 
they were pleased to call them — without bothering about the 344 
antecedent cause. They recognized only that a state of insensi/ 
bility and numbness had arisen in the fingers — as by mere 
chance — and that it was worsening little by little. 

The patient, failing to improve with drugs, communicated 
the nature of the treatment to me. I asked him if he had had any 
blow on the upper or lower arm. When he denied this, I asked 
him the same of the upper part of his spine. He replied that 
he fell out of a carriage three or four months before and, in 
being thrown to the ground, was struck in that part of his back 



by a projecting stone. He suffered severely, but in six days the 
pain left him, though on the fifteenth day he had a slight sensa^ 
tion as of insensibility and numbness of the fingers. This went 
on increasing up to the present, unrelieved by drugs. I reasoned 
that the consequent inflammation in the root of the nerve to the 
affected fingers had as sequela an induration which, though itself 
545 painless, had produced insensibility in the fingers to which the 
nerve was distributed. Accordingly I transferred the treatment 
from the fingers to the site of the original blow and thus cured 
the trouble.^^ 

A whole day would not suffice me to describe all the condi^ 
tions of this kind that I have seen in the feet and hands, in 
wounded soldiers, in gladiators, and in many civilians — acci/ 
dents in the many changing circumstances of life — in which 
those ignorant of anatomy always cut a poor figure. For, on the 
one hand, in their operative procedures, they may sever some 
nerve, small indeed but with no small power, thereby destroy^" 
ing in some underlying part the power of sensation, or motion, 
or both, or, on the other, failing to foretell the result of wounds, 
they are held responsible for the injury. 

I perceived that the knowledge of the limbs and of other 
outer parts is most necessary and is utterly neglected. I resolved 
346 therefore to add successively to the anatomy of the muscles in 
the limbs (which was my first task) that of the arteries, veins, 
and nerves, and so to encourage the young, engaged in dissect 
tion, to practise primarily on those [outer] parts. For they daily 
see practitioners, learned as to the number and nature of the 
cardiac valves, of the lingual muscles, and the like, yet ignorant 
of the anatomy of accessible parts, making the gravest errors in 
prognosis and local treatment, whereas those familiar with this 
branch of anatomy, yet ignorant of what the others know, are as 
constantly successful. 


Chapter 2 

[Precautions in removing the Skin] 

Let us now set out the proper way to dissect the vessels and 34^ 
nerves in the limbs; but first as to the arm as a whole. We may 
begin with the saying of Hippocrates that *The human foot is 
composed of many small bones, like the "end of the arm" 
(CHEIR akre)'.^4 He *foot' without qualifications, but 347 
to CHE I R he added akre, since the limbs are not like in their 
nomenclature, though of similar construction, for as femur is to 
lower limb, so is humerus to upper, and as foot is to the lower 
limb, so is hand to upper. The part starting at the joint by the 
wrists and split into fingers, is called cheir akre, just as the 
end of the lower limb with which we walk is the Toot'. I shall 
use this nomenclature, calling the whole limb cheir with^ 
out qualification, and when I want to designate the end of 
the CHEIR from the wrist [downwards], speak of the cheir 


This limb begins, of course, at the shoulder/joint. The neck 
of the scapula is articulated there with the head of the humerus, so 
that if you cut off the whole arm there, you can conveniently dis^ 34S 
sect it separately. You have often seen me demonstrating its parts. 

The first step in the procedure is to remove the skin from the 
underlying tissues. This is not to be done anyhow, as do curriers 
who, along with the skin, take away the membrane [fascia] 
beneath through which the nutrient veins reach it. You must 
leave the membrane and sever the skin from it, using a sharp 
lancet from the first. Taking a selected part of the limb in your 
hand, remove the hair so that sufficient skin is bared for the 
first cut, for you will thus incise the better. It is natural at the 
first attempt either to leave part of the skin uncut, or to sever 
the underlying membrane with it. By trying a second or third 
time, increasing or tailing off the depth of the cut, you will soon 349 
learn the right measure. 

[Here follow two displaced pages of a trivial discussion of 
terms, a translation of which would be purposeless.] 



351 You must incline the lancet toward the skin when separating 
it from the membrane. If you turned it towards the membrane, 
you would injure it, while to pierce the skin does no harm. 
This operation is rather tedious, so, if you are demonstrating 
the parts of the arm to another, remove the skin before he 
arrives. If your colleague, who participates in the dissection, 
wants to show it to others, do the operation in his presence. 
For the work needs great precision and calls for one who really 
wants to know and does not mind taking trouble. Many a time 
I have left the task to a colleague, only to find the membrane 

352 torn in some places and in others adhering to the skin. Where 
that happens, none of the veins and small nerves under the 
skin can be found, and this especially in the ape. It is true that 
in such large beasts as horses, donkeys, mules, and catde they 
do not wholly disappear, yet if the membrane be torn from the 
continuous tissue beneath, clear apprehension is no longer pos/ 
sible. In small animals, however, [the superficial veins and 
nerves] are completely destroyed if one of these accidents hap/ 
pens to the membrane [fascia]. 

Therefore when the whole arm has been bared of skin, leave 
the membrane still entire upon the underlying tissues. In this 
membrane, before it has time to dry, examine the surface veins 
and nerves. These do not show equally in all cases, either 
because they are naturally so small in some apes, as in some 
human beings, or again because the adiposity varies. In thin 
animals the nerves are more clearly visible; in the fat they are 

353 concealed. When the ape is full-blooded, the superficial veins 
can be clearly seen; when bloodless, they are indistinct. Never/ 
theless, in all cases try to observe and remember the *roots'^^ of 
the nerves on the surface and their course, so that in making an 
incision you cut along them. Thus the nerves severed will be 
few or none, but if you apply the lancet transversely you may 
divide many. Try especially to avoid 'roots', realizing that, as 
with a tree, in cutting a branch or twig, you harm the plant but 
little, while if you sever the crown of the root, you ruin the 
whole plant. So with the nerves. If you divide a *root'the region 


which derived sensation from that nerve will be rendered 

If you remember the anatomy of the muscles as expounded 
in Book I, you will learn here, too, to find without difficulty 
the origins of the nerves distributed through the skin. But if you 
have forgotten, leave this present book for the nonce and return 
to Book I. As soon as you have a clear realization of the posi/ 354 
tion of the muscles, turn to what follows. Assuming that you 
will do this, I shall proceed.^^ 

Chapter 3 

[Nerves in Upper Arm] 

In Book I the nature of the muscle that embraces the top of the 354 
shoulder [deltoid] was explained to you. Of it Hippocrates 
wrote: *As for the upper arm, were one to strip the shoulder of 
flesh, he would strip the area over which this muscle extends.'^^ 
I expect you to keep this muscle in mind with reference to the 
part, for there the shape of a [Greek letter] delta is produced, 
and some have called the muscle *deltoid*. The part in question 
encircles the head of the humerus and this is the starting/point 
of the arm itself The deltoid muscle, triangular in form, has its 
attachment at its apex to the humerus. 

When you see clearly the apex of the triangle in the outer side 
of the arm, by raising your eyes you will see a number of little 
nerves, fine as hairs, springing from the depths [upper lateral 355 
cutaneous branches* of the axillary (circumfex)]. They are like 
twigs of a little bush, springing from one stem but at various 
angles. As some grow straight and others oblique, so is the course 
of such nerves from their origin, some passing along the limb, 
others to the sides. They reach beyond the middle of the upper 
arm. [These include brachiocutaneous branches of the radial.] 
The outer parts below are enmeshed with little nerves from 
another root which also rises up from the depths and is spread 

B. 2353 




abroad, embracing the outer and lower nerves of the regions 
round the elbow^joint [lower lateral cutaneous and posterior 
lateral cutaneous branches of the radial]. 

For the most part, you must take for granted such sub^ 
cutaneous nerves and small veins as I shall describe, because 
their continuity is not preserved. Further, their position, num/ 
ber, or calibre is not always exacdy determinate as they are for 

356 the larger vessels and nerves. Their origins, however, are always 
from the same vessels and nerve [trunks] as the two just 
described as *like little bushes' [p. 65]. 

One of these [large] nerves [axillary] comes from that which 
is intertwined with the deltoid, the other [radial] from the 
largest of those that go to the upper arm. This [latter] twines 
round the muscles at the back [of the humerus] and passes 
to the outer side of the limb and reaches the lower arm by the 
higher of the processes of the humerus called kondyle 
[lateral epicondyle]. 

Of the [former] nerve [axillary] a small portion penetrates 
to the spot mentioned [i.e. outer side of upper arm], while 
the remainder of that which is distributed to the deltoid 
comes through entirely to the skin [as the upper lateral 
cutaneous]. These then [i.e. axillary and radial] are the two 
sources of the cutaneous nerves in the upper arm on the outer 

The skin in front receives small nerves [lower lateral cutaneous] 
in its upper region from the first branch (epibasis) of the 
second nerve [radial] that enters the upper arm from the spine, 
and, in the region below, in front of the elbow/joint, from 

357 another nerve [musculocutaneous] of those from the spine which 
is alone from the beginning, of which more anon. But the skin 
of the upper arm within and behind, up to the ends of the 
shoulder/blade, is enmeshed with another nerve [intercosto^ 
brachial (intercostohumeral)] which emerges from the second inters 
costal space. This nerve also reaches the upper arm, like all the 
others, through the armpit. Whoever wishes to examine them 
exactly must first cut away the small muscle that was over^ 



looked by anatomists [pectoralis minors see pp. 122-3], for under 
it pass all the nerves assigned to that region [Fig. 23]. 

First on the surface, but under this muscle, lies the nerve 
[intercostohrachial] which I said emerges from the second inters 
costal space. It divides completely into branches to the skin of 
the upper arm on the posterior and inner sides. 

Next, deeper down, when glands, membranes, and vessels 
are removed, lies a succession of large nerves. A cutaneous 
nerve [cutaneus hrachii medialis] descends on the upper arm 
to the spot where the head of the small muscle [pectoralis 
minor] lies in apes. It starts from the very large muscle there, 358 
which moves the outer part of the armpit [latissimus dorsi], 
and it ends in the back region of the elbow, at the inner 
parts. Where it passes into the arm it is immediately divided 
into three; its higher branch twines round certain parts in 
the inside of the upper arm as far as the articulation behind; 
the next part round the whole back region of the skin; the 
third round all the continuous tissues up to the shoulder/blade. 
The skin of the upper arm then contains the starting-points 
of the nerve of which we have spoken. That of the lower arm 
I shall deal with shortly. If you first examine the nature of all 
the nerves in the upper arm, it will be much easier for you to 
dissect and learn about those in the forearm, not only on the 
surface but in the depths. 

[Deep nerves of upper arm, Fig. 23.] 

As the upper arm starts from the shoulder/joint, it is as well 
to sever it [there] and dissect it separately. Begin the operation at 
the humeral [cephalic] vein and the front muscle with two 
heads [hiceps]. The latter, as you have learned [p. 28], arises 
from strong tendons and is inserted by an aponeurosis into the 359 
beginning of the radius. Where the two heads are just uniting 
you will find the first nerve [musculocutaneous] passing along the 
humerus. At that spot the large muscle in the armpit at the 
back [latissimus dorsi] is attached to the humerus by a strong 
flat tendon. Next [to this tendon] there is attached to it [i.e. 
to the humerus] the tendon of the largest of the muscles from the 



breast [pectoralis major], being fleshier than the aforesaid muscle. 
Next to it again is the attachment of the muscle of the top of the 
shoulder, called deltoeides. 

[i. Musculocutaneous nerve.] The first nerve, then, that comes 
from the spine through the armpit to the upper arm, enters it 
at the attachment of the tendons of the posterior muscle of the 
axilla, the largest of those that move the shoulder/joint \latissu 
mus dorsi]. Then at its entrance it passes under the anterior 
^60 muscle [biceps] of which the heads are here still separate. Pass^ 
ing under the inner head it gives a branch to each head. Thence 
it goes straight down, in contact with the fibres of the inner and 
more slender head which arises in a ligament from the anchor-' 
shaped process [coracoid]. The heads coalesce and make a single 
united anterior muscle which, as you learned in Book I [p. 28], 
flexes the elbow/joint. You will see this tendon clearly if you 
cut both tendinous heads above and separate them to the 
straight part where they unite. With that part the nerve, too, 
travels down. 

As you do this another muscle [hrachialis] is exposed. It is 
much lower than the former [hiceps] and rises only a short way 
on the humerus which is hidden by it. It hides also, as I said, 
the tendon of the first muscle [deltoid]. 

In their course the two tendons [of the hiceps] send forth 
sometimes from one of them, sometimes from both, aponeu/ 
ROSE IS [sometimes a lacertus fhrosus] into the heads of the 
361 smaller anterior muscles of the forearm. . . . 

[2. Axillary (circumflex) nerve.] [The passage on this nerve 
is missing. Ten lines are substituted on the Median and Ulnar 
nerves, irrelevant here.] So now, leaving these nerves, go back 
to the beginning of the arm. 

[3. Kadial nerve.] After the two nerves I have spoken of there 
is a third, near the second. It makes a deeper penetration into 
the upper arm along with the great vessels, artery, and vein, 
which pass through the axilla. This nerve is split up along with 
the vessels to enter the large muscles of the upper arm [triceps, 
differently divided in ape and man] which extend the elbows 



joint, and it gives branches to both, making its way slantwise 
to the outer region. 

This [radial nerve] is the largest of the nerves entering the 362 
upper arm. (You hear anatomists habitually designating as 
*large' a nerve, artery, or vein without indicating differences in 
length but only in circumference [misleadingly] as though they 
had used the term 'thickest'.) Where this nerve passes out round 
the humerus and through the region at the back and pushes 
beyond a little above the elbow^joint, a branch [is seen] to make 
its way out to the skin. Of this I have spoken already in the 
section on the cutaneous nerves of the arm [p. 66]. How the 
remainder of the third nerve [radial] reaches the forearm and 
how it there divides, you will learn later in the section on that 

[4. Ulnar nerve.] Most parts of the upper arm having now been 
laid bare, examine [one of] two nerves remaining on the inner 
side, where the aforementioned three entered [the armpit], a 
little deep to the third. This other is seen first of them all, even 
without the dissection of the muscles in the upper arm, being 
on the surface under the skin. I have already mentioned it in the 565 
anatomy of the superficial nerves [p. 65], and postponed ex/ 
plaining its complete distribution till I came to the anatomy of 
the lower arm. Yet this nerve begins its division in the upper 
arm above the elbow/joint [in the ape, with branch to m. 
epitrochleoanconeus] and is carried through practically the whole 
bend, already divided into many branches, for only the higher 
parts of the bend lack a branch from it, while the anterior 
superficial parts of the upper arm, above the elbow, receive their 
branches from this nerve. [Either the text is confused or Galen 
here describes an abnormality in which the medial cutaneous nerve 
arises from the trunk of the ulnar.] 

[5. Median nerve.] There remains a fifth nerve of those that 
come from the spine to the upper arm. Like the others, it 
passes through the inner side. This nerve gives no portion of 
itself to any part in the upper arm, either superficial or deep. In 
thickness it resembles the second [axillary] just as the first 



[musculocutaneous] resembles the fourth [ulnar]. You will esti/ 
mate the second and fifth [axillary and median] as about three 
364 times as thick as the first and fourth [musculocutaneous and 
ulnar]. Thickest of all is the third [radial]. 

You remember that I said another nerve [intercostohrachial, 
p. 66] enters the skin of the upper arm, emerging through the 
second intercostal muscle. So that among the nerves from the 
spine to the arms there are two that divide as cutaneous branches 
only [the second being cutaneus hrachii et antihrachii medialis], 
and five* distributed deep down to all the muscles of the limb, 
with a few delicate branches to the skin. 

Chapter 4 

[Nerves to Forearm and Hand] 

364 Leaving the upper arm, pass now to the forearm. If you sepa/ 
rate the skin from the membranous tissue, as I have said, you 
will see the first beginning of a nerve [ulnar] — fourth of those 
mentioned in the upper arm — which supplies most of the 
inner side of the forearm, extending to the lower part, and to 
much of the outer part [medial cutaneous, sometimes in the ape 
a branch of the ulnar]. That part of the forearm on the radial 

565 side, both back and front, receives the branches from other 
nerves, anteriorly from that first mentioned [musculocutaneous], 
posteriorly from the third [radial]. (An account of the cutanea 
ous nerves in the hand will be added to the anatomy of the 
big muscles [of the forearm].) 

You saw five nerves (i.e. i, 3, 4, and 5, pp. 68-69 and 
cutaneus hrachii et antihrachii medialis], in dissecting the upper arm, 
passing through the bend of the elbow into the forearm, but 
only one [the last named] is dispersed into the skin, being split 
above the bend at the elbow. 

Four then remain. The first, of which I gave an account be^ 
fore in the anatomy of the upper arm, reaches the middle of the 
* Text says Tour*. 


articulation at the elbow [musculocutaneous]. A second, which 
is lower, reaches the inner and lower condyle [medial epicondyle] t 
of the humerus where it is at its flattest and least convex 
[median]. A third nerve [radial] which, I said, is above those 
that go to the whole arm, reaches the forearm touching the 
radius in association with the outer and upper condyle [lateral 
epicondyle] of the humerus. The remaining nerve [ulnar]^ the 
fourth of those that reach the forearm deep down, has its place 
between the point of the elbow and the inner and lower head ^66 
[medial epicondyle] of the humerus. 

If you trace the natural attachments and positions of the 
muscles and dissect them as you learned in Book I, you will 
observe the distribution of them all [i.e. the nerves]. You may 
start from any of them, though it is perhaps best to keep the 
same order as was employed for the upper arm. 

The nerve to the forearm through the middle of the bend at 
the elbow [median] produces there a very delicate branch [ramus 
anastomoticus]. This runs by the side of the vein [v. medialis 
antihrachialis] which extends along the approximate middle of 
the surface throughout the forearm, and meets at the wrist the 
artery with plainly visible pulsation [a. radialis]. And yet this 
nerve, which is the highest of all those mentioned, gives another 
very delicate branch to the head of the large muscle peculiar to 
the radius [flexor carpi radialis], and next to this branch another, 
carried along the remainder of the forearm* by the radius, very 
like a spider's web [n. interosseus anterior]. After passing under^ 
neath the vein — which is spHt off from the humeral [cephalic] 
and across which we cut — what is left of the nerve I am de^ 567 
scribing passes aslantf to the large muscle pecuHar to the radius 
[flexor carpi radialis] and is carried out of the upper parts 
between the four already mentioned slender muscles [flexores 
digitorum]. . . 

* Text says 'shoulder'. 

f Text adds 'gradually on the surface'. 

X Here are eighteen lines, most of which fit neither human nor simian 
anatomy. They are, in any event, out of place. 


^68 Let us now speak of the outer nerve [radial] first, so as not 
to interrupt the exposition of the two remaining nerves, distri/ 
buted through the anterior parts of the forearm and fingers. 
This nerve, after it has given off the branches in the upper arm 
[to the triceps] of which I spoke earlier, is carried down to/ 
wards the elbow^'joint between the smaller of the anterior muscles 
in the upper arm [caput medialis tricipitis] and the head of the 
large muscle peculiar to the radius [fexor carpi radialis]. It 
sends its first branch into the outer parts of the forearm, and it is 
distributed on the surface under the skin there [n. cutaneus 
antihrachii dorsalis] and in the wrist. And it yields other branches 
as it passes through the articulation at the wrist, and yet others 
again where it enters at its head the muscle that extends the 
wrist by the bifurcate tendon [i.e. the tendons of the extensores 
carpi radiales longus et hreuis]. One of these is split into the head 

3^9 of this muscle, the other goes forward undivided. . . .* Its end 
passes through to the wrist in line with the bigger fingers, being 
split up on the dorsum to enter them under the skin. It spreads 
through two fingers and half of the middle finger, sometimes 
uniting at the end of the radius with a small branch of the 
above/mentioned nerve which extends to it. 

The rest of the third nerve [radial] inclines towards the outer 
region of the forearm. It is carried aslant through the depths, 
first to the bifurcate muscle of the wrist [i.e. the tendons of the 
two extensores carpi tadiales] into which, I said, it enters at its 
origin, before producing the aforesaid branch. It is then through 
the muscles of the radius verging on the outside of the elbow 
[hrachioradialis and the two extensores carpi radiales]. It gives cer/ 
tain fine branches to both and to the muscle extending the four 

570 fingers [extensor digitorum communis] and after that to the muscle 
that initiates the oblique motion in the lesser fingers [extensores 
digitorum proprii], and then in its turn to the muscle that bends 
back the wrist at the little finger [extensor carpi ulnaris]. It pro/ 
duces all these branches at the origin of the aforesaid muscles, 
not far from the [elbow] joint. Thence it is carried along the 
* Six lines here are anatomically unintelligible and are omitted. 


bipartite muscle which moves the thumb and the wrist [i.e. the 
two extensores carpi radiales] and gives manifest branches to it also. 
In the course of this journey, the tendon of the muscle that 
gives the thumb its lateral motion [abductor pollicis longus] Hes 
very close to it for some distance as far as the wrist. Next it has 
for neighbour the muscle that moves index and middle fingers 
in the same fashion. What remains of this nerve is distributed 
to the articulation without reaching the fingers. The largest of 
the terminal branches enters the depths of that region where 
lies, I said, the ligament that hides the origin of the tendons 
extending the four fingers. 

This then is the mode of dispersal of the nerve by the outer 571 
condyle [lateral epicondyle] that reaches the forearm from above. 
It was, we remember, the third of the nerves from the axilla to 
the arm. 

The remaining two nerves [ulnar and median] are distri^ 
buted to all the muscles on the front of the forearm. In dissect^' 
ing these [muscles], as you learned in Book I, you will follow 
up the course of all the nerves that enter them, starting at the 
elbow/joint. You will find branches going from both nerves 
into the flexors of the fingers, and indeed into all the other 
muscles except that which was said to be the second to go to 
the upper arm [axillary]. The fourth of the nerves which, I 
said, runs between the point of the elbow and the lower con^ 
dyle [medial epicondyle] of the upper arm into the lower arm 
[ulnar], gives a certain portion of itself to the muscle that bends 
the wrist at the little finger [flexor carpi ulnaris]. You will find 
the remaining nerve [median] giving a portion of itself to the 
muscle that moves the radius there [pronator teres] and then, as 
it advances, a part also to the higher of the muscles flexing the 
wrist [flexor carpi radialis] and to that which passes into the 37^ 
palmar fascia [palmaris longus], and a delicate part deep down 
to the small muscle in the radius there [pronator quadratus.] 

The two large nerves [median and ulnar] fake their course 
through the forearm between the muscles that flex the fingers 
[flexor es digitorum suhlimis et profundus], resting on one and lying 



under the other, and they give of their substance to both 
[untrue of ulnar]. When these muscles end in the tendons, the 
remainder of each of the nerves reaches the wrist and meta^ 
carpus, being dispersed through the tissues there and the inside 
parts of the fingers, the higher [median] to the two big fingers 
and the half of the middle finger on the side next the index, 
the rest to the middle finger and the remaining litde finger. 
57J The higher of the nerves is expended there. The lower [ulnar] 
sends a considerable part into the outside of the hand on the 
surface under the skin, reaching the finger-tips of the inner two 
and a half fingers. The remaining half of it with the thumb 
receives the whole end of the nerve I mentioned [radial]. There 
is no muscle on the dorsal aspect of the hand as there is on the 
palmar side. 

Chapter 5 

[ Veins of Axilla and Arm] 

J7J A single artery but two veins enter the arm. One of these 
veins is obvious even before dissection, for it lies on the surface, 
between the skin and the underlying muscles. Of these [muscles] 
one arises from the acromion, becoming triangular there [deU 
toid]. The other forms the fleshy part of the breast [pectoralis 
major]. Both are inserted by strong aponeuroses along the front 
of the humerus, not far from the shoulder/joint [Fig. 9]. 

The 'shoulder vein' [cephalic] then lies on the surface between 
these two [muscles], along the inside edge of the deltoid, and 
reaches the end [of the muscle]. Thence it is carried down in 

374 the outer region of the upper arm, in contact with the larger of 
the anterior muscles [biceps] along the line that bounds it 
laterally. When near the elbow it separates from this muscle and 
mounts on the large muscle at the bend of the radius [hrachioy 
radialis]. There it splits into three parts, roughly equal. One 
plunges into the depths: observe the position and course of this 



in examining the surface veins. The second [median basilic] 
reaches the bend of the joint uniting to a part of another vein 
[basilic] that is carried into the forearm. The third and last in/ 
cHnes towards the outer region of the forearm and divides there.^^ 
Before it splits into three at the elbow, the large 'shoulder/ 
vein' [cephalic] can be clearly seen next the skin throughout 
the upper arm., nowhere sinking in the depths but outstanding 
and conspicuous, particularly in athletes who are naturally thin 375 
and muscular. Throughout the upper arm it distributes delicate 
branches into the skin and superficial muscles. This you will 
see in dissecting large, fuU/blooded apes, and other creatures of 
the six different kinds of four/footed creatures of which you 
learned [p. 97].^^ When it mounts on the muscle of the radius 
[brachioradialis] at the elbow/joint, the three divisions into which 
it is split are sometimes equal, sometimes unequal; sometimes 
one is larger, sometimes another, but none ever greatly exceed/ 
ing the others. 

The branch [of the cephalic vein] to the outer region of the 
forearm gives off branches that are more clearly visible than 
those in the upper arm, and it is entirely consumed [in the fore/ 
arm in] anastomosing with other veins to be described. Whence 
they come, you will now learn. 

The vein which i verses the axilla [axillary], which is much 
larger than the *shi ilder vein' [cephalic], together with the 
corresponding artery divides into branches all along the arm. 

These two vessels [vein and artery] are in contact through 37^ 
the armpit into the upper arm, and the nerves and the branches 
into each muscle are united with them by a single natural out/ 
growth [axillary sheath]. When they have passed through the 
upper arm, coursing along the larger of the anterior muscles 
[biceps], the artery goes on to the muscles in the forearm, passing 
now into the depths as it was at the start. The vein, however, 
divides into two near the joint. One branch goes deep with 
the artery and divides [into venae comitantes] throughout with 
the artery. The other [basilic] runs obliquely down sub/ 
cutaneously. It is plainly seen in thin people and those with 



large veins. You will see it more clearly if you constrict the 
arm with a bandage. 

The first branch of this vein [hasilk] is seen running down 
aslant to the bone [ulna] of the forearm. It courses between the 
inner condyle [medial epicondyle] of the humerus and the bend 

377 at the elbow but, mounting on the forearm [below], it goes 
forward with it to its end. The second branch arising with it 
runs above the forearm for a little but at once divides. Of the 
branches the lower reaches the [cephalic] vein, which I said 
runs along the bone of the lower arm. The higher, often passing 
outside, sometimes comes to the same vein in the forearm and, 
reaching it, is consumed by final division into branches. The 
vessel stretched along the forearm reaches its end with certain 
branches extending to the lower region of the wrist, sometimes 
visibly, sometimes indistincdy. 

[Here follow five pages of very elaborate description of the 
veins of the forearm and hand. Since these are, in fact, highly 
variable, and since their variations are without significance, 
the translation of these pages would be unprofitable.]'^^ 

38^ All these veins [in the lower arm] can be seen clearly even 
before dissection in many men who are both thin and full/ 
blooded, and have large veins, but the surrounding air should 

384 be warm or the man have just had a bath. You must compress 
the part with your hand where you wish the full veins to be 
clearly seen. You should do this often and in many subjects. 
Its usefulness is considerable, and that for two reasons: first, 
for the knowledge of the vessels themselves, for no phenomenon 
is accurately and quickly recognized unless often seen.'^° (This 
is proved by [identical] twins for they are indistinguishable to 
strangers but are easily distinguished by intimates.) And 
secondly, to convince yourselves of the close similarity of the 
bodily parts of men to those of apes.'^^ 

All these veins that you see in man without dissection, you 
will see in the ape during dissection. Clearly then these animals 
are like men in respect of the deep veins as well. I want you 

385 to have frequent practice on them, so that if you have the 


luck to dissect a human body, you will be able readily to lay 
bare each of the parts."^^ This is not everybody's luck, and it 
cannot be achieved at short notice by one unskilled in the work. 
Even the greatest experts in anatomy among the physicians, 
and even when examining the parts of the body at leisure, have 
obviously made many mistakes. For such a reason even those 
who sought to dissect the body of a German enemy, who had 
been killed in the war against Marcus Antoninus, could learn 
no more than the position of the viscera. But one who has prac^' 
tised beforehand on animals, and especially on apes, lays bare 
with the utmost ease each of the parts for dissection. It is easier for 
a careful man, previously practised in dissections, to gather some/ 
thing quickly from examination of a human body, than it is for 
one who is inexpert to discover the obvious even at his leisure.^^ 
For men have often rapidly observed whatever they wished in 
bodies of men condemned to death and thrown to wild beasts, 
or in brigands lying unburied on a hillside. Again, extensive j86 
wounds and ulcers, reaching deep down, have exposed many 
parts which were recognized by the experienced as having the 
same structure as in the bodies of apes, and yet they were of no 
service to the inexperienced [see p. 4]. By constantly dissect/ 
ing bodies of exposed infants,* they were persuaded that man 
has the same bodily structure as an ape. In the course of 
various surgical operations that we perform, sometimes remov/ 
ing mortified flesh, sometimes cutting out bones, the likeness 
becomes apparent to the practised eye. But some are so careless 
of the highest standards that they will not learn, even what can 
be ascertained precisely, before dissection. 

Chapter 6 

[ Venesection] 

What I have just said [in Chapter 5] as to the veins in the 386 
lower arm and hand can all be ascertained in man before dissec/ 

* Literally 'By frequently dissecting many bodies of exposed children'. 



tion* in many cases. Thus, for example, after the dichotomy 
of the vein through the axilla to the front of the elbow/joint, 
the [branch] vein that reaches the bend has an artery lying under 

5^7 it for some distance. This, in thin subjects with strong pulses, 
you can recognize by touch and by its movement. If therefore 
you let blood in one in whom this vein is clearly visible, you 
must keep well away from the artery. And where only the part 
resting on the artery is visible and the rest is out of sight, you 
must be particularly careful.'^^ 

First [observe that] when you bind the arm, the place round 
the artery swells into a sizable lump; secondly, cut one of the 
other veins which I shall mention and never this one when this 
area is distended, knowing that so broad and strong an artery 
underlies it. When it is swollen to the fullest extent, raise and 
stretch round it the vein that rests on it. Thus the artery becomes 
emptier, where the vein is stretched round, so that if one apply 
the lancet with the usual degree of force employed in pressing 
it down and lifting it [as in venesection], it would quickly pass 
through [the vein] and pierce the underlying artery. Therefore 

388 it is best to discard this [vessel] and pass to a neighbouring vein, 
particularly one of those running down towards the ulna. 

If none of these be visible, then pass to the vessel [median 
hasilic] that arises from the venous junction in the bend of the 
elbow which, I said, extends to the top of the radius. If not 
even that is visible, [pass] to the vein [median cephalic] which 
comes to the bend at the elbow from the *shoulder vein', and if 
it be not visible and if blood needs to be let from it, the vein 
that comes to the bend from it must necessarily be cut instead. If 
not even that be visible, [choose] the vein that stretches up 
aslant to the radius; if not even that, the vein from the armpit 

38^ running into the bend at the elbow [hasilic]. This last vein is 
most useful for disease of the parts below the collar/bone, the 
'shoulder^vein' [cephalic] for parts above.'^^ gut they have the 
second and third place after those I mentioned. Since the vein 
that runs up to the top of the radius [median] is common to 




both, I give it the third place in both limbs. The first and second 
places are taken by the right and left median.* I have now said 389 
all that is to be said about the superficial veins throughout the 
lower arm to the fingers. 

Chapter 7 

[Deep Veins of Forearm] 

Now investigate the deep veins, after removing the superficial 38^ 
veins at the bend [of the elbow]. When these are gone and the 
muscles dissected, as you learned, you will see the deep veins 
conjoining like the superficial. Moreover, after their meeting 
they separate again and run as a pair through the lower arm to 39<^ 
the wrist, parallel with one another. The lower one runs along 
the ulna, the higher along the radius, accompanied by the 
arteries supplying branches to the muscles. 

A certain portion of the lower [ulnar] vein, when it reaches 
the small muscle of the radius [pronator quadratus] emerges on the 
innerf side where, dividing, it unites with the superficial veins 
there. Moreover, the part of it which remains deep joins deep 
branches of the superficial veins on the inner side of the ulna.:}: 

I said that two [superficial] veins run into the arm, one 
through the armpit, considerable enough in size [hasilic]^ and 
the one much smaller, yet itself large, which they call 'shoulder 
vein' [cephalic]. 

Chapter 8§ 

[Deep Arteries and Veins of Arm] 

A single artery [axillary] reaches the arm with the vein that 391 
goes through the armpit [hasilic]. Both emerge from the chest 

* Ten repetitive lines here follow. f Text says ' outer'. 

\ Here a brief repetition is omitted. 

§ It would seem that Chapters 7 and 8 should be united. The first sentence of 
Chapter 8 repeats the last of 7. 



along with the ninth pair of nerves from the spine [T.i 
contributing to lower trunk of brachial plexus, Fig. 23]. 
They enter the upper arm where they are reached by the third 
nerve [radial]. From there, giving important branches to all the 
muscles of the upper arm, they [i.e. brachial artery and vein] 
are carried straight down to the bend of the elbow. The vein, 
however, at the end of the upper arm, divides in two. One part 
goes to the skin but the deep part is carried to the bend with 
the artery, taking with it in addition a third part of the *shoulder^ 
vein'. Then, dividing in two with the artery which is similarly 
divided [into radial and ulnar], it is carried along and distri^ 
buted, thus divided, to all the muscles up to the beginning of 
the fingers. 

In feehng the pulse by the wrist joint, we touch the higher 
5^2 artery by the radius. In thin people the artery between index 
and thumb [arteria mefacarpalis dorsalis], which has its origin 
from that [in which the pulse is felt], can be seen moving 
too. The movement of the lower artery [ulnar] which runs 
along the bone of the forearm towards the litde finger, cannot 
be distinguished clearly unless the man is quite thin and has 
a strong pulse. For Nature keeps the arteries down, nowhere 
bringing a branch conspicuously to the surface, which, as I 
indicated earlier, is the case with veins and nerves. Thus it is 
not remarkable that you cannot find any artery on the back of 
the finger/ends, for there is none at all there. But the front [of the 
hand] since it has many muscles, has also many arteries, [some] 
reaching each of the fingers. 

You will see all the arteries at the wrist, with their companion 
veins that come from the inside parts, when you have cut away 
the broad tendon [palmar fascia]. For their position is between 
this tendon and the tendons bending the fingers, along with the 
393 delicate nerve that I mentioned before. . . .* 

I have now described all the [vascular] structures of the arm. 
* Here five lines of obscure meaning and construction. 


Chapter 9 

[On the Care needed in investigating Nerves and Vessels'] 

You must not read of each of the phenomena that you observe 393 
as you would read the Historiae of Herodotus, for mere enjoys 
ment's sake, but you must store them in your memory so that 
you may know precisely the nature of all the parts of the arm. 

Some parts have neither artery nor nerve, nor large vein, 
while some have one, two, or all three. Potency in arteries and 
veins is proportionate to size, but not so for the nerves, for in 
some parts a small nerve has great power, for example, those 
dispersed through the muscles that move the thumb and, next 
to them, those that move the index. For if they alone were 
preserved in their natural state, while the others [in the hand] 
were paralysed or quite destroyed, the man would not be 
maimed in the full sense, or his hand entirely useless. If the 
middle finger be added to these, there will be little wanting to 
the functions of the hand, even though the small fingers be 
destroyed. But if, while the four remain in a healthy state, some/ 
thing were to happen to the muscles that either flex or extend 
the thumb, all functions of the hand would go, for the activi/ 
ties of muscular opponents are always vitiated together. When 
the muscles that extend the thumb are detached, the muscle the 
natural function of which is to flex it, having done its job for 
the nonce, flexes it [for good]. Later it will not be able to do 
so, for it is impossible again to contract a muscle that remains 
contracted, unless it be first extended. 

Therefore make yourself thoroughly acquainted with the 
nerve of each muscle and especially of those having an impor/ 
tant function. Thus if it be necessary to remove a missile or 
splinter by cutting through or round a structure, or again, if 
we are to excise some putrified part or gangrenous bone, let us 
spare the important vessels and nerves. 39s 

I know of a slapdash practitioner who in one case excised 
a large part of the muscle in the outer region of the upper arm, 
without greatly harming the limb. But he later applied the 

B. 2353 G 



lancet freely to that region inside the anterior muscle where the 
fifth* nerve [median] mounts on it. In the phrase of Hippos 
crates, he was ^expert with a foolish facility'.^^ With one swift 
circular cut, he not only severed the third nerve [radial] but the 
two in the front of it [ulnar and median] and, in addition, the 
[brachial] artery and vein, for all these lie there together. Dis/ 
mayed for the moment by the haemorrhage, he attended only to 
that, putting ligatures round the severed vessels. A little later, 
however, the patient was unable to move any part of his hand 
and had no sense of touch over most of the limb. He shouted 
at the physician, these very words, *You have cut my poor 

396 This healer had indeed made the whole limb useless with 
one incision. Others have done the same to other parts of the 
arm and leg from ignorance of the nerves. I pass by, for the 
present, all the mischief they have done in blood-letting, by 
[their] failing to understand the parts to be watched in each of 
the veins at the elbow, of which I have spoken also in my book 
De mortuorum dissectioneJ 

For all these reasons you should dissect the arm of an ape 
frequently. If you observe something unusual in it, this too may 
be of use to you. Thus in dissecting an ape I once observed a 
little nerve [cutaneus antihrachii medialis] resting on the vein at 
the elbow. The observation of these things has proved useful 
in the case of certain well-known physicians who were blamed 
for having severed a vein, since immediately after the incision 
a numbness along the hand was sensed and this affection 
ever after remained. But I made clear to these critics that such 
an idiosyncrasy in the bodily frame was sometimes found, and 

397 thus freed the physicians from censure. I persuaded those who 
were accusing the physicians not only by calling on others as 
witnesses for their testimony, but also by pointing to a record 
of the phenomenon in the vein I have just described, in the 
anatomical notes I had taken of each subject dissected. . . .f 

* Text reads 'third'. 

f Here ten irrelevant lines on the superficial nerves of the arm. 


Chapter lo 

[Nerves in the Thigh, Fig. 2^*] 

The dissections that I have explained having been successfully 397 
performed on the arm [we turn to the leg]. Four cutaneous 39^ 
nerves will be seen at the beginning of the thigh. They are 
equal in number to the large nerves to the muscles, for they 
descend from them. 

[a\ One runs down from above, from the anterior muscles to 
the whole skin surrounding them and is distributed there 
[cutaneus femoris lateralis (L.3 and L.4)]. 

Medial to it lies a nerve that passes through the groin 
[n. femoraliSy rami cutanei anteriores] on to the large, narrow 
muscle [sartorius]. 

[c] The third [cutaneus femoris posterior] near the kokkyx, 
as it is called, is more difficult to examine than the afore^ 

[d] The fourth [genitofemoral], which is even harder to 
examine than the third, is at the perforation of the pubic bone 
by the groin. 

There are very small nerves like spiders' webs passing out to 
the skin, some stouter than these and some like strong hairs, and 
yet others thicker with the *roots'^^ quite clearly visible. Those 
stretched on the anterior muscles [group a above] with a strong 
membrane over them are seen to arise at the mid^front region 
when the surrounding skin is scraped off. Those that pass 
through the groin [group h above] on to the delicate and 
narrow muscle [gracilis] cohere and twine round the inner 399 
region of the thigh and leg. They run along with the [saphe^ 
nous] vein as far as the inside attachment of the astragalus [n. 
saphenus]. From the nerve which passes out near the coccyx 
[group c above] almost the whole of the back and outside part 
of the thigh receive the branches. The end [of the thigh] at the 
knee is excepted, for there another nerve [cutaneus surae lateralis] 

* The nerves (Fig. 24) of the lumbo/sacral plexus are different in ape and 



passes out by the broad muscle [hkeps femoris]. So at its end 
a single small part, as I have said, of the nerve, passing out 
through the perforation of the pubic bone [group d above], 
twines round the rest of the inner region of the thigh.* Addi/ 
tional nerves twine round the outside parts of the thigh \cutaneus 
surae lateralis], because the inside receives branches from the 
nerve [saphenous] that runs along the [femoral] vein. 

The remaining part of the back of the leg has a nerve of 
its own [a branch o{ cutaneus surae lateralis], split off from that 
which twines round the calf The front part receives a portion 
of the nerve that twines round the anterior muscles of the leg. 

When you have examined the small cutaneous nerves, dis/ 
sect all the muscles round the hip, as you learned in Book II 
[p. 43]. When they are separated from one another, the 
branches of the large nerves are seen clearly. They run, as all 
these nerves do, between the muscles, giving their branches to 
them. You will see four origins, as you did for the cutaneous 
nerves which are branches from the deep nerves and, being so 
soon observed, will lead you to discern the larger nerves. But, 
even apart from the surface nerves [acting as guides to them], the 
origins of the large nerves are readily discovered when the 
muscles are being dissected. 

There are three origins of [large] nerves of comparable size 
which I shall mention first, and there is yet a fourth, the largest, 
which is bifurcate, of which I shall speak later."^^ 

Of the three nerve/stems [of comparable size], one [n.femoralis] 
is divided up for the anterior [flexor] muscles only. 

The second [nn. fie xores femoris peculiar to ape and innervate 
ing hamstrings] runs along the large vessels, giving fine web/ 
like branches to them and to the adjoining muscle. It is in 
contact beneath with the largest muscle of the thigh [adductor 
magnus] and above with the delicate narrow muscle [sartorius] 
which we dissect first among the muscles of the thigh. '''^ 

The third and last nerve stem [obturator] passes out through 
the large perforation of the pubic bone and through the two 

* I have rectified some disarrangement of the text in the above paragraph. 



small muscles that occupy it, one outside and the other inside 
[ohturatores externus et internus]. These [last] among the muscles 
moving the hip/joint have been overlooked by the anatomists, 
as you learned. This nerve is divided in two before it traverses 
the muscles. One of its parts, running up higher, is dispersed 
through the muscle that springs from the pubic bone [gracilis] 
which was the second that you learned to dissect. The larger 
and lower, passing out through the perforation and the small 
muscles beside it, splits up to enter the biggest muscle of the 
thigh [adductor mass] and sends out some very delicate off/ 
shoots from itself to the small muscles lying beside it [gracilis]. 

When you have examined these three nerve origins, pass to 
the fourth [sciatic], which belongs to two large nerves [tibialis 
and peroneus communis] running down to the leg and dividing 
into branches to the tips of the toes. This will be in plain view 4^^ 
when the buttock muscles have been dissected. With these you 
were made familiar in Book II in the anatomy of the muscles 
of the hip/joint. 

Along with these let there be dissected the heads of the three* 
muscles round the hip which I described as arising from the 
ilium [the glutei, pp. 45-46]. The large nerves [ischiadic] are 
visible lying under them, passing out from the inner parts of 
the sacrum, along with the delicate little nerves that spring 
from it. These [latter] are dispersed through all the muscles 
round the articulation on the outside [piriformis, gemelli, ilia^ 
cus, psoas major, and psoas minor] and the first muscle of all on 
the surface which draws the articulation backwards [gluteus 
maximus], the yet larger fleshy muscle beneath it [gluteus 
mediusY^ and the small ones underneath that. One of these 
springs from the bone of the ilium [gluteus minimus]; another 
[piriformis], which is always of a dark colour, from the sacrum; 
and a third goes from the pubic bone to the large trochanter of 
the femur [obturator internus]. 

The delicate nerves are used up in entering these muscles, 
and sometimes give branches to heads of the aforementioned 403 
* Text says Tour*. 



muscles. But after that, only the largest nerves are seen coursing 
through the back of the thigh, giving a very large branch to the 
broad muscle [gluteus maximus] and one, plainly visible, to the 
other three [glutei medius et minimus Sivid piriformis] and sometimes 
to the largest muscle at the thigh [adductor mass, wrongly]. The 
broad muscle [gluteus maximus] receives a nerve above at the 
head like the others, and also another after that, but the great 
nerve [ischiadus = tibialis plus peroneus communis] pursues its 
course [unbranched] through the middle of the thigh. From 
this [united] nerve issue those that pass through to the skin as 
I said earlier [p. 84]. Such are the nerves in the thigh. 

Chapter 11 

[Nerves of Leg and Foot] 

40^ Consider now the nerves in the leg. Only two large nerves 
enter the leg. These are plainly visible at the back of the thigh, 
as I have said, when the broad muscle [gluteus maximus] was 
dissected [p. 85]. One enters it; the other [ischiadus] is pro^ 
longed very far. The latter nerve* comes in close contact with 
the knee-joint and passes back to the inner side of the leg. 

404 It reaches the beginning of the leg, and there the nerves 
[tibialis and peroneus communis] first separate, the smaller [peroneus 
communis] to the outer muscles, the larger [tibialis] to the inner. 
The outer and smaller nerve passes to the leg under the very 
head of the fibula. The inner and larger nerve plunges at the 
top of the calf between the heads of the twin muscles [gastro^ 
cnemius] which, as you learned in Book II [pp. 40-41], spring 
from the femur. A large remainder of this nerve passes to the 
under parts of the foot. Delicate ends belonging to the other 
nerve [peroneus] are distributed to the upper parts of the tarsus. 
A certain portion of it [ramus anastomoticus, absent in man] 
reaches the other nerve that runs through the calf [tibialis 
posticus] near the lower end of the tibia. 

* Text reads 'muscle'. 


A single large nerve [plantaris, double in man] reaches the 
underside of the foot and is distributed through its parts. This 
is a remnant of the large nerve which is distributed to the 
back muscles of the leg [tihialis]. It descends to the underside of 40s 
the foot along with the tendons flexing the toes. It was remarked 
that a part of the anterior [peroneus] nerve is fused with this 
nerve, for small nerves from it reach the upper parts of the foot. 

The remains of three small nerves [reach the foot]. One runs 
alongside the vein at the inside parts of the leg [n. saphems]. 
The second \suYalis\ runs on the surface at the back of the calf, 
which I just mentioned as entering the calf between the [paired] 
muscle from the femur [cutaneus surae medialis], A third small 
nerve [cutaneus femoralis posterior] springs from the large main 
nerve [ischiadus, wrongly] itself, which, running down the calf 
by the muscle along the fibula, reaches ultimately to the foot, 
being distributed to the outer tarsus by the lesser toes, just as 
the aforesaid nerve, which I said runs along with the vein 
through the whole limb, stretches out its ends to the greater 

Between these are other remains of each of two big nerves 
[ramus superfcialis of n. peroneus and ramus plantaris of n. 
tihialis] which, I said, twine round the anterior muscles of the 
leg. These reach the middle parts of the tarsus. One is on the 
surface just under the skin, on the ligament at the tarsal joint, 406 
dispersed through the parts by the skin of the tarsus alone. That 
set deep under the ligament [medial and lateral plantar branches 
of n. tihialis] is distributed to all the muscles on the tarsus the 
tendons of which, as you learned, initiate the oblique movement 
of the toes [p. 49]. 

Chapter 12 

[The Two Veins of the Leg] 

A small vein from the pubes reaches the leg, nourishing a small 406 
part of it. I shall speak of it later. Another vein, a very large 
one, is distributed through the entire limb, running from the 



inner part of the groin. Certain irregular branches from it pass 
to the skin. Such veins some physicians call sporadikai. 
Those distributed through the muscles have a [more] fixed 
origin and position, but as in the arm they are not always of 
equal size. 

I shall now mention all the branches usually visible of the 

407 large vein, which is the main source of all those in the limb. At 
its origin a branch on the surface under the skin runs into the 
front and inner surface of the thigh, dispersed in various pat/ 
terns. Next, three or four other delicate sporadic branches are 
distributed through the skin. At the middle of the thigh another 
important one, like the first, shows itself beside the narrow 
muscle [sartorius] wherein a vein is rooted. There are two or 
three other small sporadic branches. Next there is a branch of 
considerable size on the inner side of the knee, and next another 
which is bifurcate, and after it several others of like nature. 
All these are superficial but certain others correspond to them 
in the depths. 

The first [deep] vein after the groin is distributed to the two 
anterior muscles [vastus lateralis and vastus intemedius]. After 
it is another deeper and rather large branch, between the largest 
muscle of all [adductor ma^nus] and the inner of the anterior 
muscles [vastus medialis]. From it many veins go to almost all 

408 the muscles round the thigh. Next comes the vein that I said is 
dispersed under the skin and after it another, also from the great 
one to the anterior muscles [quadriceps], passing through the 
depths to the outer region of the thigh. After it comes another 
considerable branch, which passes rather deeper down to 
the largest muscle [adductor mass] and those lying beside it 
semimembranosus and semitendinosus]. After these there is that 
mentioned before in the enumeration of the superficial branches, 
which passes by the inner side of the knee to the end of the leg, 
being divided freely in the skin [internal saphenous]. Near this 
branch you will see others from the large vein dividing up into 
the lower parts of the largest muscle [adductor ma^nus] and 
through the whole articulation to some depth. 



Sometimes the large vein [femoral] divides at once, sometimes 
division does not take place until the beginning of the calf, 
when a vein [short saphenous] passes round through the under 
parts of the joint to the outer region. There beside the fibula it 
becomes bifurcate. One part of it divides up on the surface in 
the inner parts of the fibula to the ankle. The other part, carried 4^9 
through the depths of the outside muscle [companion vein of 
peroneal artery], gives branches to each, and passes through be^' 
tween tibia and fibula near the lower end, so that the convex 
end of the tibia* is embraced by the end of this and by the 
end of the superficial vein. 

Sometimes when the large vein divides in the ham, this vein 
arises from the other one of the parts. But however it divides and 
whatever its condition, the large vein is divided at the ham and 
with one part passing through the calf reaches the end of the 
tibia at the ankle, and thence passes to the sole between tibia 
and fibula there. The other part passes to the shin and divides 
into several veins, all running in the front part between tibia 
and fibula, their ends going as far as the tarsus, the foot, and the 4^^ 
toes, joining with one another and the veins lying beside. . . .f 

Chapter 13 

[Arteries of Lower Limb] 

The largest artery [femoral] coming through the groin passes 410 
into the thigh at the same spot as the large vein. In thin sub/ 
jects with a strong pulse you will find its movement percept 
tible to the touch there. Both vessels run through the inner 
region of the thigh, covered bylj: the narrow muscle along the 
thigh [sartorius]. Into it, as into all the others round the thigh, 
pass branches of the artery proportionate in size [Fig. 18]. 
* Text says 'fibula'. 

f Here for two and a half pages Galen sets forth an elaborate plan of the 
superficial veins, which hardly accords with anatomical facts and is devoid of 
interest for the modern reader. I omit them. 

ij: Text says 'lying on'. 



As in the upper limb, so in the lower, veins go along with 
the arteries that pass into the muscle. Yet arteries do not accom/ 
pany the superficial veins, but always come through the depths 
to the muscles. Every vein in the thigh and along the leg, that 

413 I said divides deep down to enter a muscle, has an artery lying 
beside it, but not so any of the superficial veins. This is clear 
from the fact that in well/covered persons the pulse is never 
perceptible in the leg unless at the tarsus in a line with the 
second toe. We often feel the artery lying there, when we cannot 
feel that in the wrist. 

There are other arteries in tarsus and foot, which often show 
the pulse in thin subjects, when one is swollen to its full 
extent. At the wrist on the outside [that is on the dorsum] I 
said that no artery is found, because there is no muscle there. 
It is for the small muscles on the dorsum of the tarsus [extensor 
digitoYum hrevis] that the artery I mentioned just now is dis^ 
tributed there, just as it is for the muscles under the foot that 
a small artery [plan f arts lateralis] accompanies the afore men^- 
tioned vein, and reaches this spot. They move down into it 
through the space between fibula and calcaneum. 

As to the artery [a. ohturatoria] passing into the thigh through 

414 the perforation in the pubic bone which they call thy^ 
ROEiDES [thyra, hole, door, gate], you may assume that 
all I said a litde earlier about the vein is said of it, for it is dis/' 
buted to the same three muscles as the vein. 


[Muscles of FacCy Headj Neck and 

Chapter i 

[Function and Order of Anatomical Works] 

In the De usu partium my aim was to explain the structure of all 4t$ 
the human organs, so far as it concerns the Art. I followed this 
principle with the best of the older physicians and philo/ 
sophers. Therefore I began with the hands because these are 
possessed only by human beings. The legs naturally came next, 416 
since in them also man has something that animals lack, for he 
alone walks quite upright on them."^^ It was shown that the 
ape is a ridiculous imitation of man, walking like one, and yet 
defectively in most important ways and falling short of straight^ 
ness in the structure of the legs. So, too, the thumb, which 
controls the action of the human hand, is incomplete in the 
paw of the ape. 

In the present work, my aim is twofold; first that each bodily 
part, the actions of which I explained in the former work, may 
be accurately observed; and second to promote the proper end 
of the Art. For since I see contemporary Physicians, reputed 
serious students of anatomy, making little of the more useful 
part of it and cultivating the more pretentious, I sought first to 
demonstrate this to the young and to encourage them to pursue 
the more useful. This I have done in the beginning of Books II 
and III. The recapitulation there of the [contents of the] treatise 417 
[De usu partium] included practically all the customary dissec/ 
tions of the limbs and superficial parts of the body, as to muscles, 
vessels, and nerves. For it is from them, and not from liver, 
heart, or lung, that we extract missiles and splinters and it is in 



them that we treat fistulous ulcers, derangements of the humours, 
suppurations, and septic infections. 

I wished both my works to be arranged alike throughout, 
as [they are] in the first two books. But I observe that the 
enthusiasm for the less valuable part of anatomy daily increases, 
while almost everyone neglects the more useful part. Therefore 
I decided to encourage the young to study what is more urgently 
necessary and that not by argument only, but by the scheme of 
instruction. What I want them to learn first, I set down first 
in this discourse. Therefore, after the account of the limbs in 
the previous [three] books, in the two that follow I set down the 
superficial anatomy of the whole body, in so far as it refers to 
muscles, beginning from the face and head. 

418 Among those muscles that are united with the surrounding 
skin of which the anatomists overlooked the most important 
element, are the two broad and delicate muscles ending in the 
jaws and lips and arising from the cervical spinous processes 
[plafysma myoides]. From these there springs a membranous 
ligament with the fibrous strands common to all muscles but 
which links the substance of the two muscles [of the two sides]. 
Many fibrous strands also pass up from the spine of the scapula 
as they do from the clavicles, and end in the face [Figs. 11, 12]. 

These muscles must be severed in due course in accordance 
with the nature of their fibres. Those ignorant of them, when 
they cut at large across them, dividing the fibres, cause the 
mouth to be drawn to the opposite side. These cases have been 
overlooked by all, and I shall say a litde about them later, but 
those interested in practical anatomy have recognized the mus/ 
cular substance under the skin of the forehead [occipitoyfrony 

419 talis] and its action. They state that the brow region is drawn 
up by it, and that the skin on the forehead derives its motion 
from it. Yet most surgeons do not know this, and ignorantly 
incise the forehead transversely rather than vertically. The result 
is that they make too large an incision there, particularly near 
the eybrows, and the skin continuous with them is drawn down 
to the eyelids and weighs down the eyes by resting on them so 


that they do not open properly, and their activity is thus im^ 
paired. As the direction of the fibres is downwards from above, 
so is it with the muscles moving the jaws. 

Is it not then disgraceful that people ignorant of many such 
facts should [idly] inquire if there be not some cartilaginous or 
bony element in the pineal gland J or if it be possible to find a 
cartilage or bone in every heart or only in a large one ? Such ques/ 420 
tions I see engage the attention of present/day physicians more 
than do useful problems. For these reasons I resolved to add 
other two books to the anatomy of the limbs — thus making a 
quarter of the whole work — and then a fifth [book] after that. 
When the whole anatomy of the muscles has been fully dis^ 
cussed in them, I shall return to the order followed in the De usu 
partium}^ That is I shall speak first of the organs of assimilation, 
then of those of respiration, then of the parts in the brain and 
spinal marrow, then of the reproductive organs, and lastly of 
investigation on the foetus. 

Book XVI in the De usu partium is on arteries, veins, and 
nerves. I explained there what is common to all and useful to 
be known about these, whereas what is the nature of each is 
expounded in this present work De anatomicis administrationihus. 
For this reason I must now treat of them very exacdy, for many 
details were omitted in my earlier work De anatomicis administra^ 421 
tionihus lihri duo J Why it seems to me better to give an account 
of arteries, veins, and nerves at the end of each treatise I shall 
explain in that book where I describe the procedures by the 
good use of which one may gain experience. 

Chapter 2 

[The Five Kinds of Muscles of the Mouth] 

Now we must proceed to the anatomy of the muscles. First as 421 
to those that move the mouth (gnat hoi) with the lips, the 
jaw being unmoved. It is possible to clench the teeth and draw 
the corner of the mouth towards either side of the neck. In this 



action the skin is stretched toward the junction of acromion 
and clavicle. These muscles [platysma] can open the mouth on 
either side towards the neck, just as other muscles called 
MASSE TERES (*masticators'), attached on the flat surface of 
the lower jaw [ramus], move it round either way. The tem/ 

422 poral muscles [on the other hand] do not swing the jaw. Their 
natural function is to draw it up in biting on anything or in 
nibbling or in shutting the mouth. It is these muscles that 
Hippocrates calls mas setere s^° but I shall always call them 
'temporal* (krotaphi tai) to avoid two meanings of one 
word. I shall call masseteres those lying on the jaw and 
moving it either way [Fig. 13]. 

All known living creatures except the crocodile move their 
under jaw, while the upper remains unmoved.^^ The actions 
[of the lower jaw] are three, chewing, shutting, and opening 
the mouth. The movement of the mouth first mentioned is dis^' 
tinct from these, since it can take place when the lower jaw is 
at rest. It is distinct also from the movement of the lips which 
is affected by yet other muscles. Thus there are five activities 
connected with the mouth, and five kinds of muscle, all of 
which I shall describe in turn, beginning from those dis^ 
covered by myself 

In all the types of animal that physicians dissect, as being not 

423 very unlike man in nature, there are muscles, both broad and 
thin, which are intended by Nature to draw the jaws sideways. 
The types of animal that do not differ greatly in their nature 
from man are, roughly speaking, six in number, of which I have 
already spoken [p. 97].^^ Here I treat of apes because of all 
animals they are most like man. 

Apes [for dissection] should be drowned, that no organs in 
the neck be damaged as they are by strangling. A straight 
incision must be made with a sharp lancet along the neck from 
chin to breast, the lancet being pressed so evenly on the skin 
that nothing else is severed. You will easily accustom yourself 
to do this, not only here, but throughout the body, by shaving 
the part you intend to cut. 



Practically all the skin on the body has a membrane [dermis] 
lying under it which is removed with it in skinning. Here is a 
broad and delicate muscle [platysma] with many fibres which 
have a [general] direction corresponding to the associated 
vessels.^^ These fibres end at the lips and their origins are mani/ 424 
fold, for they arise from all the neck vertebrae, from the 
scapulae and from the clavicles. Those that come from the 
cervical vertebrae run rather more transversely. Those that run 
up from the clavicles are nearly vertical. Most of them reach 
the point of the chin and are inserted into the lips, alternating 
with one another, as purses are drawn up [by their strings], 
some passing from left to right of the lips, others the reverse 
way [Figs. 11, 12]. 

The membrane from which the fibres originate is not like 
that of others in thickness or strength but proportionately 
stronger, for it is formed of the substance and has the nature of 
ligaments which spring from bones, being hard and insensitive. 42^ 
Hence this membrane and all those like it should be called 
'ligaments', since such they truly are, and 'membranous' for 
clarity as having the delicacy of membranes. This ligament 
springs from the ends of the spines of the cervical vertebrae and 
binds them all to the muscle. 

Naturally, when the animal is skinned, this muscle [platysma] 
disappears, stripped off with the ligament like a membrane. You 
can make a double test on one animal by shaving off the skin 
from the muscle on one side and removing skin with muscle 
and ligament to the vertebrae on the other. If you keep the mem^ 
brane* stretched, you can examine in the delicate ligament the 
numerous fibres in a row, one after the other, like the fibrous 
cords. They are best seen in either old or newborn animals. 

Both [old and newborn] lack fat, which accumulates on 
membranes, ligaments, tendons, and sinews, and indeed on all 
avascular and cold tissues. In the newborn the fibres are small, 
the ligaments powerless, and the muscular substance soft, and so 
perhaps such subjects are better avoided in the present inquiry. 
* Text says 'skin'. 



Those thin from age are the most suitable, for their flesh is 
scanty and dry and the fibrous element even more dry and yet 
well developed. But if it be a choice of unsuitable animals, 
select the newborn rather than the large and fat, for nothing so 
obscures dissection of fibres as fat. 

In this muscle [platysma] examine the position of the fibrous 
strands which run up, from the regions I have mentioned, to 
jaws and chin, for they guide you to the origins of strands that 
come from many regions. Those in the front and side of the 
head rise up from the underlying muscles; others coming from 
the back, springing from the spinous process, have their 

427 origin as you may see along with the delicate and flat ligament 
there [Figs. 11, 12]. 

It is well to insert a threaded needle to put a loop round each 
strand close to the lower jaw, then, stretching out the strand by 
means of the thread, remove the fibrous strands on either side of 
it. Do this to each strand, so that, when the muscle is cut out, 
the fibres are left intact, so that their origin may be seen when 
you remove the thick muscles underlying them. It suffices to do 
this on one side. On each [side] cut away the ends of the fibrous 
strands running down to scapula, clavicle, and spine, strip the 
muscle from the underlying tissues and draw each portion of it 
towards the end so as to see the animal's jaws following the 
portions of the muscles pulled on by them. Either the animal 
must be still warm and lately dead, or else the surrounding air 
must be summer4ike, or you must throw warm water on it, for 
if the parts round the jaws have time to cool they become 

428 difficult to move, growing stiff as hide. 

This muscle arises behind from the spine continuously. 
Thence it runs to the base of the bone of the occiput, then passes 
under the ear, touching its attachment, and thence it passes to 
cover the masseter muscle, uniting ligamentously with the upper 
jaw bone. Thus the two sides, so to speak, of this part of the 
muscle [platysmafaciei] are completely defined. The three remain/ 
ing divisions are not thus separable, since for the most part 
the spine of the scapula bounds the part of the muscle there 



[nuchal part of platysma], but sometimes a small part of the 
fibrous strands passes from this, too, into the lower regions. The 
same may be said of the clavicular [portion], but none of the 
fibrous strands are so sharply defined as the aforementioned 

Most of the anterior parts of these muscles in apes so conjoin 
that they appear one. In some animals the straight sides of 
these muscles are separate from one another; in some they are 42^ 
in contact through a few oblique fibres, particularly in the 
region of the larynx. These muscles are separate from one 
another in proportion as the animals are long in the neck. If 
you remove these muscles, you can demonstrate either those 
from the nucha or those in the face. 

Chapter 3 

[The Six Kinds of Quadrupeds, The Lips and their 

I stated earlier that the parts round the mouth have five dif/ 4^9 
ferent movements. I think I had better go over them all. Let us 
start with the lips into which, I said, pass certain interlocking 
fibrous strands of the thin flat muscles [plafysma]. In apes the 
interweaving of these strands is plain to view, while in animals 
longer in the neck it is less plain in the degree that the neck is 
longer. Those with the longest neck retain little trace of 430 
interchange of these fibres, for in them antero/posterior fibres 
disappear and the oblique or transverse perform the whole 
function without their help. 

In these animals the lower jaw is also longer than in the ape. 
Of all animals man has the shortest jaw in proportion to his 
whole body. After man, the ape, then the lynx,^^ then the 
tailed ape, and then the dog/faced baboon. Their neck, too, 
is as long and they all have a coUar/bone like man. Some of 
them stand more erect than others. All [can] walk with their 
weight on two legs, some worse, some better. No other known 

B. 2353 H 



animal walks thus. After these comes the bear class, then pigs, 
then what are called the jagged/toothed' (karcharo/ 
DO NT A, roughly the carnivora) then two other classes of 
4P animal, namely the horned cloven^footed ruminants and the 
hornless, with uncleft feet and undivided hooves. As for the 
other classes of animal, biped and quadruped, omitted from 
these six classes, there is no difficulty in finding to what to 
liken them. 

The lips have a special character of their own, for in addi/ 
tion to the variety of their motion, for which they came into 
existence, it is not possible to conceive a more perfect bodily 
substance. You can turn them out and aside, draw them in, 
stretch them lengthways, tighten them or slacken them at need 
in eating, drinking, speaking, or performing any other activity. 
Since they are attached to the skin and the flat muscles [parts 
of the platysma] that we have discussed [p. 7], you may place 
their origin wherever they will no longer follow the skin, as you 
strip it off. Further, the lips are joined with the bone of the 
jaw as well, for they have a third ingredient in their composi^ 
tion, a porous substance [presumably mucous membrane]. 
Thus their nature is composed from this substance, from the 
skin and from the flat muscle — three ingredients mingled. 
43^ They derive their sideways movements from the flat muscles 
through their transverse fibres. The movement downwards and 
upwards comes from their whole substance and, for the sake of 
these movements. Nature has penetrated the mandible with 
small [mental] foramina and given them nerves [inferior 
dental].^"^ These holes are near the end^^ of the jaw on either side 
of the junction [of the rami]. Through them emerge what is 
left of the nerves to the sockets of the teeth, from which the 
gums and the teeth and the surrounding membranes derive 
sensation [Figs. 11, 12]. 

While stripping the lips from the under jaw, be careful not 
to cut the nerves. They run upward from beneath in accord 
with the nature of the lips. By the action of these nerves 
the Hps are drawn down.^^ They are brought together by 



Strands passing into them out of the thin flat muscles by the 
fibres coming up from the clavicles. Acting like a purse, pulled 
either way by the muscles at the side, the lips increase in thick-' 
ness as they lose in length [and vice versa]. It is as if you were 
to put a finger on either side, pressing them and reducing their 433 
width or, again, increasing their height and thickness as you 
diminished their width. So the tension of the muscles, pulled 
opposite ways at the same time, draws the ends towards the 
middle, their spongy nature contributing greatly to this result. 
For all substance of this nature is both emptied and filled 
easily, contracting when emptied and expanding when filled. 
More is said of it in my work De motihus duhiis?'^ 

Just as nerves are supplied to these [i.e. lower lips] from the 
lower jaw [from mental branch o{ mandihular division of V],^^ so 
are they to the upper lips from the upper jaw [from the injraorhital 
branch of maxillary division of V],^^ also passing through fine 
foramina in all animals. If these foramina are not visible, you 
will find them in a larger specimen of like kind. (I call a horse 
like in kind (HOMOEiDEs)toa horse, an ape to an ape, a dog 
to a dog. Call them homogenes instead of homoeides, 
if you will.89) 

These [upper lips] are moved in the same way as the lower. 434 
They are drawn up by the afore^mentioned nerves which move 
certain delicate muscles peculiar to the upper lips.^^ They are 
pulled sideways by the fibrous strands of the flat muscles that 
come down to them. They are drawn together by the inters 
woven fibrous strands. In large animals you will see clearly 
some of them reaching the origin of the lips and stopping 
there, and some intertwined with each other [Fig. 12]. 

In exposing the lips, mark by means of ligatures the nerves 
below that traverse the masseter [zygomatic^ buccal, and mandiy 
hular branches of VII] advancing to the side parts of each lip, 
so that you may examine their origin again. And examine 
closely whether certain anatomists have been right or wrong in 
saying that each of the lips is moved by two muscles, each mn^ 
ning obliquely to the lips, into the upper from above and into 



the lower from below, or whether rather each muscle is of 
somewhat cuticular nature reinforced by muscle fibres. 

Chapter 4 

[Masticatory Muscles] 

435 It must be shown clearly that the muscles moving the alae of 
the nose [nasolahiales] are of a like nature to that of the flat 
muscle [platysma] that was discovered by me. Here, too, there 
lie under the skin naturally united fibrous strands by which they 
are moved and fibres of such a nature are even more charac/ 
teristic of the skin of the forehead [frontalis]. But the alae of 
the nose are conjoined and fused with the upper lip [through 
the leuatores lahii], without being provided with any special 
muscle for this purpose [Fig. 11]. 

Move upwards gradually to the cheek, stripping off the skin 
from the tissue there. If you do this, you will see clearly the 
masseter muscles with the nerves [branches of VII] extending 
over them and ending at the mouth. Before dissecting the 
masseters, raise these nerves with hooks and free them from 
underlying tissues up to their end behind the ears, and leave 
them there. Remember to examine round the foramina of the 
skull whence they spring [stylomastoid foramina]. 

But first proceed [a] to the masseters, [h] to the muscles 
within the jaw in the mouth, and [c] to the temporal muscles, 

436 for these three pairs of muscles move the under jaw. The tem-' 
poral muscles, along with the muscles inside, draw it up, 
while the masseters turn it to the side. You must dissect each 
of them thus. Cut the strands of the masseters extending from 
upper to lower jaw, consecutively so as to observe how they fit 
into one another. Divide those on the surface, drawing them 
up with hooks, stripping and dissecting them to the upper jaw, 
whence they spring, until you come to the underlying [fibres]. 
These have a different direction, for they fit into each other and 
do not run straight down. Wherefore it is necessary for the 



lower jaw not only to be extended and brought to the upper, 
when animals are chewing, but also for it to run slighdy aslant, 
sometimes forward and sometimes backward, for such is the 
action we need in chewing [Fig. 13]. 

Each masseter forms two muscles, coming each from its own 
head to a common end. The insertion is in the lower jaw which 
is to be moved. One of the heads you will see in the cheek, 437 
strong and sinewy, embracing the substance of the fleshy part 
with a powerful ligament; the other lies along the whole jugal 
bone and is not at all sinewy. The former draws up the jaw 
slighdy to the front, the latter is for the opposite movement, and 
its nature is to draw the jaw backwards to the degree that the 
former draws it forwards. If you stretch the heads in turn you 
will see the movement plainly. 

As to how you are to do this, give me your attention now. 
The principles I am going to state apply to all operations for 
examining the movement of a part in a dead animal. We must 
remove all the flesh from those bones on which the investiga^ 
tion is being made, keeping intact only the muscles that move 
them. Dissect these muscles also right up to their heads. Cut 
these away from the bones from which they issue and draw 43^ 
them towards you, laying hold on them with your fingers, 
pulling them to the site from which they arose. If you do this 
aright, you will see the movements of the bones that have 
antagonistic muscles inserted into them. 

Thus you must remove all tissues round the lower jaw and, 
laying it perfecdy bare, observe the movements of each mas/ 
seter. You will see them even more plainly if you not only 
strip everything else from the lower jaw, and particularly all 
that issues from below, but also the temporal muscles them^ 
selves which you can dissect either after the masseters or before. 
Either way it is necessary to excise what is called the zygoma. 
When it is away, the whole temporal muscle is clearly seen 
inserted into the process of the mandible called korone 
[coronoid] by a broad tendon. 

Moreover, now that the zygoma is removed you will see 



the relations to each other of three muscles, to wit, the masse/ 
ter, the temporal, and the muscle hidden within the mouth 
[pterygoid], which is contiguous to them. 

439 The masseter is in contact with the temporal in several 
places, and more extensively with that [muscle] which is 
hidden within the mouth [pterygoid]. Thus if one were to say 
that it [the pterygoid] were part of the temporal, one would 
hardly err, for the temporal, being attached all round the 
[coronoid] process of the lower jaw, is in union with this third 
muscle [pterygoid]. The latter has its origin by the wing/like 
(pTERYGOEiDEs) outgrowth of the skull [lamina ptery^ 
goidea lateralis], and is below attached to the flat parts of the 
lower jaw where there is a place made slighdy hollow to afford 
access to the muscle. At its origin there is a great hollow round 
the wing4ike outgrowth of the skull [pterygo^maxillary fossa]^^ 

It is not possible to examine this muscle till you have loosened 
the lower jaw, either removing it from the skull at the joint, or 
by severing the end where lies the junction of its two parts. 
The temporal muscle is visible enough if you but excise the 


Hippocrates says that the lower jaw is compounded of two 

440 bones joined together at the end.^^ This has been said by all 
others who have expounded the nature of the bones with 
accuracy, yet it is not possible to demonstrate the junction in all 
apes, for in most of them it will look to you as if the lower jaw 
were a single bone. In dogs the junction is seen clearly, and in 
them it is easiest to divide the jaw at this point. Dogs have the 
three muscles of which I have just spoken, and all the kinds of 
animal mentioned above [p. 97] have them, and they produce 
the same movements, the masseters being double, but the others 
being single [p. loi]. 

You must find by trial in what animals the lower jaw is 
easily cleft, and so proceed to the apes.^^ If you want to practise 
on them from the start, you will divide the jaw at the point 
with an excision knife. Paying attention to this lower end of the 
44^ jaw/bone and to the junction of the front teeth called *incisors', 



Split the jaw with a scalpel at the mid/point. When you have 
drawn the parts asunder, examine from within the third muscle 
attached to the flat part of the lower jaw [huccinator]. You will 
see it clearly when you have stripped off the membrane that 
covers all the parts round the mouth [buccal mucous mem/ 
brane]. Following up its fibrous strands you will get a clear 
view of the [pterygoid] muscle arising from the hollows of the 
skull produced by the pterygoid (wing/like) outgrowths. 

As for the masseters, when they have been prepared before^ 
hand, as I have described [p. loi], after you have laid bare 
and cut away the temporal muscles so that at no point is the 
lower jaw moved up or retracted, you can observe clearly how 
they move it. But if you wish to dissect the temporal muscles 
first, you must remove both [masseters] and, having bared the 
muscle of both skin and membranes, examine the fibrous 
strands to see how, starting from many regions, they all con^ 
verge on the tendon. Then cut away all the origins [of the 
temporal] and stretch them out vigorously. You will then see 442 
the lower jaw following and the mouth closing. So open it 
with your own hands and then draw the temporal muscle 
upwards to see the lower jaw following it once more and the 
mouth closing again. 

When you have observed these [reactions], cut away [the 
temporal] till you can see the muscle [pterygoid] inside the 
mouth, fusing with it at many points. Before you cut it, you will 
see the masseter adhering to it here and there. This also should 
now be cut out so that you can see the inner [muscle, i.e. pteryy 
goid] before the separation of the lower jaw. Detach this either 
at the articulation or at the junction — so that when it is turned 
back the inner muscle is visible. If you divide it at both places, 
you will make accurate examination yet easier. It is clear that in 
the case of this muscle, too, its origin lies by the skull and its 
insertion at the lower jaw, where it is attached at the flattest point 443 
on the inner side where it is somewhat hoUow.^^ It emerges 
from the skull at the hollows beside the pterygoid bones. 
Once you have cut out the whole of this muscle together with 



the half of the lower jaw, you will be able to examine all the 
parts at the mouth, first the gums round the sockets of the teeth 
and then the sockets and the teeth themselves. 

Chapter 5 

[Discussion of EyeyMuscles postponed] 

443 Since my intention was to examine the muscles first, let us pro^ 
ceed to them. We should begin with those round the eye, but 
I put off treating those in the eyelids even in my De usu partium^^ 
till after the discussion De motihus duhiis}'^ 

Dissect the inner muscles in the eye region, either excising 
first with a circular cut what lies around them, or cutting out 

444 the eye as a whole. It is not, however, necessary to dissect the 
eye of a an ape when you have ample opportunity for such an 
operation on the larger animals. Therefore let us postpone dis/ 
cussion of the globe of the eye, also, to that part of the present 
work in which I shall describe a dissection* of such parts as 
can be examined separate from the rest of the animal. (For we 
can remove from the body the brain, eye, tongue, larynx, lung, 
heart, liver, spleen, kidneys, womb, bladder, testicles, bowels, 
or stomach.) Meanwhile, as we planned from the start, let us 
rather consider in detail the larger muscles that fasten part to 
part, yet are not themselves included in any one part, for it is 
not possible to conceive even the nature of such muscles apart 
from the animal as a whole.^""^ 

Chapter 6 

[Muscles of Forehead and Neck, and Movers of the Head] 

444 Let us now think of ourselves as stripping off the muscle4ike 
skin on the forehead. I have said before that a flat muscle is set 
under the skin here and naturally united with it. If you dissect 

* ANATEMNEIN TO LOGO = to dissect in discoursc. 



it to its origin you will see it becoming progressively thinner. 445 
As you strip off the whole skin from the head, you will trace 
certain outlines of muscles round the ear which, in other 
animals, you will see not as mere outlines but as complete 
muscles.^^ Since as you do this the skin round the head is 
removed, while that round the neck was 
removed when you exposed the thin and 
flat muscles [platysma], it is time to dissect 
those muscles that are connected with the 
head and then those in the neck. As 
there is some dispute about the origin of 
these muscles I shall mention their junc^ 
tion with each bone as it comes up for 
consideration, sometimes saying that they 

join with a bone (symphysis), some, pi^gram of cervical part 
times that they arise from It (ekphys is), of trapezius muscle of 
or grow into it (kataphysis), or Macacca] 
are inserted into it (emphysis). 

First of all a flat muscle is seen on the surface, nearly trian/ 
gular, such as what geometers call trapezoid. You will grasp 
my meaning more clearly if you cut a right/angled triangle 
with a straight line parallel to the lowest side (basis). Of 
the lines that join these two, one is at right angles to both, the 
other is oblique. The line at right angles to both springs from 
the spine (akantha) at the neck. The base of the figure is 
the whole spine of the scapula. Parallel to this is a small line 
on the skull at the nape, near the first vertebra. That which 
unites it and the end of the base is the fourth side of the muscle, 
the oblique one, which runs towards the so/called akromion 
and joins for a short distance the end of the clavicle there.^^ In 
dissecting this muscle, begin from the highest line of origin 
which starts from the middle of the skull at the nape and extends 
transversely towards the root of the ear at the side [Fig. 10.] 

It is clear that here is a single muscle running on either side 
of the spine yet neither division [of the muscle] reaches the ear, 
but each falls short of the ear by the distance that it proceeds 



from the nape. Make a transverse incision by the first origin, 
freeing it from the skull. Then thrust a hook through it and dis^ 

447 sect it from the underlying tissues. Proceed downward along 
the boundaries indicated, namely, the spinous processes of the 
cervical vertebrae and the slanting side of the trapezius, reach/ 
ing the clavicle near the akromion. 

Suppose that this is done: the muscle is now visible, inserted 
into the sharp ridge on the scapula. The question which I had 
previously postponed now arises, namely, as to the muscles that 
fasten together parts which are [both] movable [that is, which 
is origin and which insertion]. The shoulder/blade makes 
extensive movements, and the head as great. If, in a freshly 
killed animal, you remove the flesh from them that the response 
may be ready, and if you try to pull on both in turn, by this 
muscle, either end will equally follow the other. 

It is best, however, to hold that this muscle [trapezius] is 
produced by Nature for the shoulder-blade and not for the 
head, for these reasons. First because when it [the muscle] 
is severed in the neck, the scapula drops down and can never 
again be raised. (This should be done in the live animal.) 

448 Secondly, because there are other muscles that move the head 
laterally, while only this one draws up the shoulder to the head. 
Thus, if we deprive the shoulder of this, it will want such 
motion altogether. Yet it obviously has this motion and since 
some muscle causes such [motion], it must be this. Third, in 
long/necked animals this muscle does not reach the head but is 
exactly triangular, for the line that joins the lines that bound 
the right angle begins at the lower parts of the neck and ends 
before it reaches the skull at the nape. For Nature, that does 
nought in vain,^*^ would have been active to no purpose in 
bringing up to the head a muscle which could have raised the 
scapula even if it had ended lower down, by movement of 
the neighbouring spine in such animals, and the extension to 
the neck would be unnecessary. Fourthly, evidence that the 

449 scapula is moved is that a nerve comes down to this muscle 
from the brain [a branch of XI]. If one cut it, the movement of 



the scapula is paralysed but not that of the head. Yet the book 
of Lycus^^ maintained that the head is drawn down to the 
shoulder by it, for he was ignorant both of the nerve and of all 
else of which we have spoken. 

But it is not my intention to criticize Lycus or any of my 
predecessors unless incidentally.^^ For I know that any diligent 
reader anxious to discover the truth will find the books of other 
writers crammed with errors. For truly Lycus overlooked one 
pair of the muscles moving the lower jaw, namely, the pair 
inside the mouth [ptery^oids]^ just as he ignored the flat muscles 
in the neck [platysma], along with those just mentioned [cony 
cerning the trapezius]. He is ignorant of many more of the 
facts to be stated next. Sometimes he is alone in this, sometimes 
the others share his ignorance. I therefore invite all who meet 
with these books to judge of the points in question, making 
themselves eye-'witnesses of anatomical operations. For it is my 
express purpose in writing this work to enable diligent readers 45<^ 
to teach themselves, if they lack instructors, since the friends 
who urged me to write it as memoranda can, even without it, 
recall what they learned from me, unless they slip into indo^ 
lence. Hence I shall forbear to criticize my predecessors so that 
the argument may proceed the faster while I state only actual 

The second pair of muscles [rhomhoideuSt pars capitis, not 
present in man] is comparable in length to those already men/ 
tioned [i.e. to occipito/scapular part o[ trapezius] for, starting 
from the same region of the bone of the skull at the nape, they 
are inserted into the upper angle of the base of the scapula. 
Their breadth is considerably less. For these muscles are narrow 
and weak compared to those which appear so large even before 
dissection that in athletes they raise a swelling in the neck 
[sternomastoid]^^ [Fig. 10]. 

Begin to dissect the delicate muscle that we are discussing 
[rhomhoideus, pars capitis] in the same way as the first, that is, 
from the middle region of the skull at the inion [external 
occipital protuberance]. For lying under those mentioned before 



and like them, they have a transverse origin there and like them 

451 they extend along the spinous processes through the neck and 
are easily stripped off from the underlying tissues. But the 
former [fibres of trapezius] run thus throughout the neck and 
to the scapula; whereas the latter, when they approach the 
scapula, cohere with the muscles lying beside it on either side, 
and where they reach the scapula produce a round tendon 
which runs along the inner parts of the base [vertebral border] as 
far as the middle. They too draw up the base of the scapula 
towards the inion.^^ 

The muscles dealt with before draw up not only the base but 
the whole scapula. When they are removed, if your examination 
be as careless as that of Lycus, you will think you see the so/ 
called *spinal muscles' extending [evenly] over the whole neck, 
but if you look closely you will see many other pairs of muscles 
there, not only in apes but in all other animals, differing as 
plainly as could be from the spinal muscles. 

They [the spinal muscles] arise from each of the upper cer/ 
vical vertebrae through powerful ligaments. They are attached 
to neighbouring vertebrae, their strands running a rather short 
course. On the other hand, those pairs mentioned before [tra^ 

452 pezius and rhomhoideus, pars capitis] extend the head by fleshy 
projections throughout the neck, being of no mean length in 
most animals. The sinews run up from below along these, as 
if they ended in the head instead of having their starting/ 
point from it. 

The first of these muscles [splenius] is a flat pair arising from 
the skull at the i n i o n transversely like those first mentioned. 
(It makes no difference whether we call it a kataphysis (a 
growing to) or an ekphysis (a growing out of).) They are 
triangular: one side is the line mentioned on the inion; the 
second line is that of the cervical vertebrae; the third line unites 
these. Their fibres are oblique, slanting from the inion to the 
spine [a very different and much stronger muscle in apes than 
in man]. 

In the contrary direction to these, the fibres of the muscles 



under them run slanting forward towards the transverse pro^ 
cesses of the vertebrae. Since they all tend towards this region 453 
[of the INI on], they form a single sheet on each side. Their 
outlines — usually treble, sometimes double — will make you 
think that it is not a single muscle but three or two. Yet when 
three seem clearly visible, you will see one extends to the spines 
of the vertebrae, a second to their transverse processes, and a third 
in between* [This seems to describe the triangle formed by 
ohliquus capitis superior ^ ohL cap. inferior, and rectus cap. post, major. ^ 

As to the actions of these muscles, one can, of course, infer 
them from their fibres, but it is possible to strip all the surround/ 
ing tissues from the skull and to draw it backwards by these 
muscles. It is obviously stretched up and bent backwards by all 
of them, but by each of those just mentioned with an incHna/' 
tion to the side. On the other hand, the combined oblique 
actions of the muscles give a direct resultant. When a pair, 
whether of those lying above or those below, is stretched simul/ 4S4 
taneously, you will see the head in equipoise, by moderate ten/' 
sion brought to a settled condition of erectness, while more 
violent tension imparts a backwards flexure to the animal's 
spine. It has been made clear that you should attempt such 
observation of the movement after all the flesh has been removed 
with the skin of the head and face. 

You will begin the dissection I have described of the three 
pairs of these muscles from the bone of the skull at the in ion 
into which they grow, for they are easier to dissect from there. 
Continue to their lower end, which may be rightly called either 
'origin' or 'insertion'. 

Chapter 7 

[Four Small Muscles behind the Skull and on the 
First Two Vertebrae^ 

When these [muscles] around the articulation of the head are 454 
removed, three other pairs of small muscles become apparent. 



I shall speak of those when I dissect the muscles lying under the 

In reality the muscles behind are not three but four (apart from 
the small ones hidden by the articulation at the side of the first 

455 vertebra, on which account they escape notice). The fourth pair 
of the small muscles behind was overlooked by anatomists for 
the following reasons. The first vertebra does not have the 
structures at the back which produce the spinal process, and, 
moreover, it is the most slender of all the vertebrae. On this 
account it has surrounded itself with the second [vertebra] so as 
to form a close association. For these reasons and because the 
muscle that fastens the first vertebra to the head is so small 
[rectus capitis posterior minor], another [and larger] muscle is laid 
outside fastening the second vertebra to the head [rectus capitis 
posterior major]. Thus the small muscle is hidden. The muscle 
lying on it behind begins from the vertebra below [axis] and 
ends in the skull at the inion near its middle. [The muscle 
is relatively much larger in the ape than in man and has a 
wide insertion on the occiput.] For that reason also the two 
[larger] muscles which are straight are in contact with each 
other and cover the whole articulation. Until they are re^ 
moved, the small muscles cannot be seen, though they are just 
as straight and spring Hkewise from the skull and are in contact 

456 with others in the same way as those on them. They are inserted 
in the back part of the first vertebra just as those above them are 
inserted in the back part of the second. 

The reason that the first vertebra does not have a posterior 
process is certainly because the skull had to be attached to the 
second vertebra so that the head could be thrown back. Thus 
no process could have been set underneath among the muscles 
there, such as the other vertebrae have, for they would have been 
pierced or crushed by it. In dissecting the two pairs of muscles 
you must handle them in two ways. Either sever the muscles 
from the second vertebra, then pull on them and follow their 
course with the lancet to the head. This is the easier method. 
* I have transposed this and the next sentence. 


Or Start from the head and work to the vertebra. If you do not 
touch the strands of small underlying muscles, you will see 
them with their own outline, but if you touch and cut them 
anywhere, you will think that they coalesce with the muscles on 457 
them. However, the attachment to the first vertebra will be 
clearly visible in either operation. 

These two pairs of muscles merely draw the head back. The 
third [ohliquus capitis superior] fastens it to the transverse process 
of the first vertebra. It is oblique, having its origin from the 
skull continuous with the former but retreating to the sides. 
Thus the smaller pair along with the whole first vertebra has 
been overlooked by anatomists, for the first two give the false 
impression of arising from a single vertebra, since the spine of 
the second lies in a Hne with the transverse processes of the first. 

And just as the middle parts of the first vertebra are hidden, 
because it lacks a spine, because it is feeble at that point, and 
because four muscles are superimposed on it, so the lateral parts 
of the second vertebra have been almost obscured because the 
first surrounds it there with robust transverse processes. 

The third pair [of muscles] initiates sideways movement of 
the head along the Hne of its fibres, for the nature of all the 
muscles is, by contracting, to approximate the structures to 
which their ends are attached. I have discussed all such points 
at greater length in my book De motu musculorum^^^ with which 
I advise all who would gain anything from it to make them^ 
selves thoroughly familiar. 

There remains [for consideration] a fourth pair of muscles 
{ohliquus capitis inferior]. They He at an angle to the third. They 
fasten the first vertebra to the second and their ends reach the 
transverse processes of the first and the spinous process of the 
second. These three muscles [ohliquus capitis superior, ohl. cap. 
inferior y and rectus cap. post, major] form an equilateral triangle, 
the first, third, and fourth under discussion. The second is 
invisible until the first is removed, but the other three are 
plainly visible. 

I used to wonder how this Lycus,^^ whose book has just been 



459 published after his death, recognized in his anatomy of the 
muscles only one of the pairs which fasten head to first vertebra. 
What I have just said proves plainly that all overlooked the 
first vertebra, and when we dissect the nerves this will be 
pointed out again. But it is strange that, when they had a 
precise view of the first pair of muscles, they did not observe 
the third and fourth, for all are equally visible to one dissecting 
the muscles common to the neck and head. But as they actually 
write their view that the muscles of the neck are parts of the 
spinal muscles, I think that they cannot have attempted to dis^ 
sect them. Having decided that there were certain muscles 
peculiar to the articulation of the skull, they put full trust in 
reasoning apart from dissection. And so they wrote their notes 
as if from actual observation, for it is not possible for anyone 
who had seen the muscles common to the second vertebra and 
the head to be ignorant of the others. Not only did they ignore 

460 observation, but the movements of the head on the first two 
vertebrae they regarded as insignificant. 

Chapter 8 

[Movements of First and Second Vertebrae] 

460 The nature of these movements and their relationship with 
each other and with the joints in the head I have described in 
my treatise De ossihus.^^^ Anyone who approaches the present 
work before gaining experience in that is building on sand. 
Assuming that my readers are acquainted with that subject, I 
shall now discuss the movements that involve the first and 
second vertebrae. 

The first and second pair of the four muscles I have spoken 
of simply extend the head backwards on the neck. When 
they act, the condyles (korone) of the skull are clamped on 
the facets of the first vertebra and the occipital bone is fixed 
firmly on them, but none the less touches also the second vertex 
bra, which is itself the utmost limit to the backward flexure of 
the head. 


When the head nods forward again, it moves to the front and 
rests upon the anterior arch (apophysis) of the first vertebra, 
and the condyles float free in the facets, separate from the back 
parts [of the adas]. Should the head get forward beyond the 461 
first vertebra. Nature provides no active aid. Not only are the 
muscles that pull it down capable of bringing such danger in 
bending it, but its weight also sinks it down. Nevertheless, there 
is a safeguard since the anterior arch of the first vertebra pre^ 
vents the head from slipping too far forward, fixing and raising 
the head just before it goes too far. So much for Nature's lesser 
security. But she has a much greater defence in the second 
vertebra. Coming from it is an upright conical process [odontoid]. 
For Nature here fixes the lower [vertebra] by means of the 
front parts, carving out a small hollow in the first vertebra 
[odontoid facet] where lies its anterior arch. Behind this the end 4^2 
of the rising process [odontoid] of the second vertebra is 
mounted. From it issues a strong apical ligament which is in/ 
serted into the skull. Another ligament, transverse to this, is 
produced from the first vertebra itself This binds to a nicety 
the conical end of the second vertebra. 

If you want to observe these phenomena, it will be easier if 
the small muscles are removed. If you excise the posterior arch 
of the first vertebra you will see clearly the said two ligaments 
performing the service for the skull that I have described. The 
one ligament holds it back, that which springs from the apex 
of the tooth or peg (pyre N or whatsoever else it may be called) 
on the second vertebra. The transverse ligament holds and fixes 
this tooth, keeping it inflexible. 

Lateral bends of the head are made by the oblique muscles. 
They incline it to one or the other of the condyles, to whichever 
the muscle stretching it leads. There the head is firmly fixed in 
the facet [of the atlas] , pressing the condyle into it, and floats 
on the other and higher condyle mounted in the opposite facet. 4^3 
In this movement the head turns the second vertebra with itself 
in the direction it moves by means of the ligament. So that 
Nature with good reason attached it [the axis] to the first 

B. 2353 I 



vertebra by another pair of oblique muscles that have the func/ 
tion of righting its turns and bringing it back to its original 
position [ohliqui capitis inferiores]. 

Chapter 9 

[Muscles uniting the Skull with Sternum and Clavicle^ 

46^ Enough has been said on the muscles of the head [attached] to 
I N I o N and neck. Next must be discussed those that bind the 
head to sternum and clavicle. All the muscles discussed having 
been removed, we can deal with these and also with the muscles 
binding scapulae to spine. But since I have spoken of the dis^ 
section of many of the muscles springing from the head, it 
would be better to add those that move the head anteriorly. 

It is clear, I think, to all that, reaching down to the sternum 
and the first parts of the clavicle from two starting/points, one 
lying behind the ear, the other under it, these muscles [stemoy 

464 mastoid and cleidomastoid which are separate in the ape] either 
move sternum or clavicle with thorax towards the side of the 
head, or advance the head. It is not less clear that it is impossible 
for them to impart this motion to the thorax. So it is the head 
that is advanced by them. 

You must recognize that general principle applying to all 
muscles. Those that have a straight position initiate a simple 
motion, those that do not, a composite motion. All the afore^ 
said muscles that spring from the head have a straight position 
and [produce] a simple motion. Those running down into the 
scapulae draw them up; of those that run into the neck, some 
bend it back straight, some move it slightly obliquely. The 
muscle springing from the back parts of the ear and coming 
down to the end of the collar-bone at the sternum [cleido/ 
mastoid^ does not lie in a straight line and as its position so is 
the motion that it yields. So with the muscle following it, that 

46s is attached to the sternum [sternomastoid]. You will find their 
attachments in the region of which I spoke, that of the one 


[stemomastoid] continuous with the first muscle common to 
the neck and head [splemus]^ reaching the ear along a trans/ 
verse line, that of the other [cleidomastoid] at the root of the ear. 
This tendon is narrow, hard, and fairly round; the other is 
fleshy like all the rest I have described as springing from the 
bone of the skull at the inion [Fig. 13]. 

The attachments of these muscles to the aforesaid parts are 
with double ends. The muscle under the root of the ear, hav^ 
ing become twofold as it moves forward, is inserted in the 
sternum with one of its ends, with the other in the part of the 
clavicle articulating with it. The end of the muscle is fleshy, 
that which enters the sternum more bloodless, harder, and liga^ 
mentous. The other fleshy muscle makes a similar attachment 
with the clavicle to that with the skull. It is united and con/ 
tinuous with the aforesaid fleshy attachment. Yet it is not at/ 466 
tached to the whole collar bone as some have thought but stops 
near the middle. This I have observed continually but not the 
three attachments each with its own outline in all cases, though 
in one case their termination was seen to be twofold. Perhaps 
it is better to call their ends at the clavicle bone not 'insertions' 
but 'origins' or 'heads', and their ends in the skull 'termina/ 
tions', if they really move the skull. But for the sake of system 
I give the name of 'origins' [ekphyseis] to the attachments 
above on the head and 'insertions' [kataphyseis] to those 
below by the clavicle, like my predecessors in anatomy [Fig. 13.]. 

Chapter 10 

[Muscles which move the Scapula] 

These muscles having been removed, we pass to those of the 4^6 
scapula. There are two by the spine [rhomhoidei] which alone, 
I hold, draw the scapula backwards — Lycus made little of its 
other movements — and a third [atlantoscapulariSy absent in 
man], having its origin from the first vertebra and terminating 467 
in the end at the acromion, and a fourth, long and thin, which 



fastens the scapula to the bone called hyoid at the beginning of 
the larynx [omohyoid^ with no central tendon in apes] [Fig. lo]. 

When handling these muscles proceed thus. Behind the head 
of the animal, when you have examined the spinous processes, 
pass from the second vertebra to the third. Examine the attach/ 
ment of a muscle from the side parts of it, for if you detect it you 
will find it easy to follow the attachments as they spring from 
all the succeeding vertebrae [longissimus capitis]. 

When you have examined the five [vertebrae] of the neck, 
as I have indicated, you will find a superficial muscle near the 
thoracic inlet. This hides the rest of the muscle that arose from 
the five vertebrae of the neck and arises also from the seven of 
the thorax [lon^issimus capitis and cervicis]. So that you must first 
remove the muscle on the surface, which is placed lower, to 
observe that which comes down from the neck. Cut away from 
the low^set muscle first the attachments to the twelve thoracic 

468 vertebrae and then strip it off as far as its insertion into the 
scapula and then treat the other in the same way. [This can 
only mean the trapezius, which below its origin in the cervical 
vertebrae, is treated as a separate muscle.] When the low^set 
muscle [rhomhoideus minor] on the surface is visible, inserted 
into the root of the process at the shoulder-blade, and another 
[rhomhoideus major], growing into the whole base, draw each to 
its own origin along the line of its fibres to learn their functions. 
You will see the scapula drawn towards the spine by both, the 
higher [rh. minor] inclining it towards the neck, the other [rh. 
major] to the lower parts of the spine. If both are pulled on, the 
scapula moves back, without deviation, to the first seven vertex 
brae of the thorax, to which they are attached. 

After these, pass to the muscles arising from the first vertebra. 
To this [atlas] there are two transverse processes from which a 
number of muscles issue. Two of these we have already dis^ 
sected [ohliquus capitis superior and ohl. cap. inferior], one going up 
into the skull, the second moving to the second vertebra, set 

4^9 transversely to each other. Next to these, at the end of the trans/ 
verse process are two other large muscles, the one extending to 


the shoulder/blade [atlantoscapularis anterior, unrepresented in 
man], high through the neck, not fixed quite fast or mounted 
on the other, but bounding the large flat muscle, first mentioned 
[trapezius], which I said is attached to the spine of the 
scapula. The other muscle, with origin from the transverse 
process of the first vertebra, will be treated of in Book V.^°^ 

When you have cut it [atlantoscap. anterior] from the first 
vertebra as far as the shoulder-blade, dissect it till you find its 
insertion into the end of the ridge of the scapula at the acro^ 
mion. Pull on its insertion in the line of its fibres to see the high 
part of the shoulder/blade drawn forward and upward to the 
side of the neck. This muscle is fleshy and roundish. It is in^ 
serted into the third part of the ridge of the scapula at the highest 
part near the acromion. 

The authors of treatises on the dissection of the muscles were 
mistaken about this [atlantoscap. anterior] muscle, as about many 470 
others. So it was with Lycus,^^ some of whose anatomical works 
have now reached us. I did not see him while he was living, 
though I was familiar with the pupils of Quintus and was not 
deterred [in seeking him] by the length of a journey either by 
land or sea. Lycus had no reputation among the Greeks while 
alive but, now that he is dead, some of his books in circular 
tion are greatly admired. I have nothing to say about the others. 
I have not met with them. But the anatomical books, at least 
those I have so far read, I found to contain many errors. How^ 
ever, as I said, my aim is not to criticize my predecessors unless 
incidentally, but to record only anatomical observations, on 
which Marinus has compiled one large work. This is obscure 
in interpretation and faulty in observation.^^ Let us then proceed 
to the task before us without bothering about the errors of our 

A long thin muscle stretches out from the parts at the larynx 
to the scapula [omohyoid], pulling it towards the front of the 
neck. It goes to that part of the bone which at its upper side 47^ 
approaches the root of the anchor/like process [coracoid], but 
the attachment varies in different species of ape. Its upper attach/ 



ment, being a little above the larynx, I shall describe in the 
account of the dissection of that part. As you cut away this 
muscle, realize that you are still leaving one that moves the 
scapula which cannot yet be observed [serrafus anterior]. 

Leave it then for the moment. But we would say only that, 
of the muscles ranged round the scapula, that move it, some 
are peculiar to itself, some shared with other parts. The six 
muscles mentioned before belong to it alone; two of them are 
beside the spine [rhomhoideus and trapezius]; two others ex/ 
tend to the head [splenitis and upper trapezius], as does a fifth 
which springs from the first vertebra [atlantoscapularis anterior]; 
then a sixth is fastened to the hyoid bone [omohyoid]; and yet 
another, shared with the articulation of the shoulder, dragging 
the scapula downwards [serratus anterior]. Of this I shall speak 
in its proper place. 

Chapter ii 

[ The Twin Muscles that open the Mouth] 

472 Since our task is to explain how the parts of the animal should 
be laid bare, let us return to the structures continuous with those 
previously described, for the sequence of the parts in the course 
of dissection controls the order of teaching. 

After the removal of the muscles discussed, those opening the 
jaw would be seen [digastric]. They take their origin from the 
stonelike [petrous] bone of the skull and extend up to the very 
end of the jaw [i.e. the chin], so that the muscles of the two sides 
meet. They have a special character in that in mid/course the 
fleshy element vanishes and each becomes avascular, as though 

473 interwoven of the subtlest fleshy fibres. If you sever their 
origin and dissect their body to the chin, preserving the junc/ 
tion to the jaw, and then draw them towards their origin, the 
jaw will follow and the mouth will open. 

Of course all such operations should be carried out after the 
skin has been removed, and while not only the ligaments 


round the articulations but also the muscles are still fresh and 
therefore soft. The most accurate scrutiny of each muscle is 
possible when all the others have been removed and only those 
muscles remain, the movements of which are opposed to those 
that you are examining. Flesh forms the largest part of the 
substance of muscles. When tendons and nerves are mingled 
with the flesh, we have a muscle. I have spoken of this in my 
De motu musculorum. '^^^ Those who intend to follow this present 
work must read it all. 

The function and use of the muscles of which I have spoken 
being made clear, I must state that it is not necessary to look for 
another pair opening the mouth. Nature is content with that 
pair which I have just mentioned, for she has opposed it alone 474 
to the three that shut the mouth. ^^'^ The cause of these and of all 
the other [muscular] phenomena has been set forth in my De 
usu parttum,^^^ 


[Muscles of Thorax, Ahdomen, Loins, and Spine] 

Chapter i 

[Muscles uniting Thorax to Humerus and Scapula^ 

4y^ Our next task is the separation of the scapulae from the thorax 
to reveal the muscles of respiration. My account will be of the 
one side only, for the two correspond in all ways. 

Remove the skin round the chest from the underlying tissues. 
Examine first a muscle of the surface above the others [thoracic 

4^6 portion of panniculus carnosus]. It starts from the region of the 
nipple, extending obliquely upward to the shoulder^joint. 
This muscle is freed from the underlying tissues by 'excoriation' 
(d arsis). People use this term when tissues are linked by 
numerous delicate, web^ike connexions. These, if separated in 
the living animal, keep each its own even and smooth appear/ 
ance, nowhere torn or lacerated. In tissues naturally united, 
however, and especially in muscles, division produces a rent in 
the sundered parts and moreover a lancet is always needed for 
their separation. Those held together by web^'like fibres, on the 
other hand, are parted well enough by the fingers. For you, 
however, it is better to use a lancet on them too, for thus you 
will see clearly what you do; since the fingers obstruct scrutiny 
of the tissues. Blades shaped like myrtle leaves (myrsinai) 

477 are the handiest. 

You must separate this muscle, running up from the false ribs, 
by stretching its fibres with a hook and then dissecting it gently. 
Its origin is more closely attached to the underlying tissues than 
are other muscles. When loosened, you can pull on it with con/ 
fidence. Dissect it to the shoulder^joint, observing whether the 
muscle hangs loose or lies upon the tissues at the articulation.* 
* There is probably here a gap in the Greek text. See p. 130, line 6, and 
note 109. 


Now pass to another and much larger muscle [pectoralis 
major, pars sternalis]. It runs to the same joint but springs from 
the whole sternum and has the nipple lying on it. This muscle 
is twofold, its fibres crossing each other like the letter X. Some 
run up from the lower parts of the sternum to the higher part of 
the joint. Others run from the higher parts of the sternum to 
the lower part of the joint. They cross at the fleshy part of the 47^ 
armpit. The hollow there is produced by two muscles, namely 
this and another which is stretched along the ribs [pectoralis 
abdominis generally minimal in man]. Of it I shall speak presently. 

Because of the crossing of the fibres and consequent difference 
in their activity, it is possible to say that the muscle springing 
from the whole sternum [pars sternalis^ is really two muscles 
united, for the fibres from the higher part of the sternum bring 
the humerus to the thorax without pulling it downward, while 
the other fibres give it an oblique downward movement. 

Think of four consecutive movements that you have often 
seen me demonstrate. First and foremost is a [simple] adduction 
of humerus to thorax by the muscle of which we speak. Second 
is bringing humerus to thorax along with the surrounding flesh 
and inclining it gradually downwards. The first is the act of the 479 
higher [pectoralis major, pars clavicularis], the second of the lower, 
fibres of this muscle [pectoralis major, pars sternalis]. The third 
movement is the action of the first muscle [panniculus carnosus] 
which began by the nipple. The fourth movement is the 
drawing of the humerus over the ribs. This also is twofold, 
for [a] it continues the movement of the first muscle and par^ 
takes of the nature of the second, being a combination of 
adduction of the humerus and of laying it on the ribs, while 
[h] it pulls the humerus vertically up and down across the 
[Fig. 9]. 

One muscle initiates each of these movements [a and h\. One 
of the movements [a] is initiated by the small surface muscle 
that I discovered [part of iht panniculus]. It will be dealt with 
presendy. The other [h] is initiated by the biggest muscle [deep 
part pectoralis major] which I have said produces, along with 



480 the muscle at the sternum [pars sternalis] the hollow at the 
armpit. These two muscles are very well developed, particularly 
in athletes, and clearly visible in them. 

In due course I shall speak of the muscle running up from 
below [pectoralis ahdominis]. At the moment, however, I shall 
revert to those that pass from the nipples to the head of the 
upper arm. Of these the first, I said,* starts from the false ribs 
near the hypochondria not far from the nipple, and causes the 
downward movement of the upper arm [thoracic portion of 
panniculus]. Next it is a muscle of considerable size with fibres 
overlapping each other as though it were twofold, so that one 
might reasonably think there were two continuous muscles 
[superficial and deep layers of sternal part o( pectoralis major]. In 
succeeding chapters this muscle is to be called *the largest of 
the chest muscles'. 

A third muscle remains, which becomes visible when this 
[pectoralis major] is removed. It, too, springs from the sternum, 
[but] at its junction with ribs 2 to 6 [pectoralis minor]. It is the 

481 highest that adducts the humerus. After it comes the muscle 
that visibly draws the humerus to the upper ridge [spine] of 
the scapula [spinodeltoid portion o[ deltoid]. 

If you choose to separate the scapula from the thorax, as first 
proposed, you must first dissect the muscle running up from 
the false ribs to the shoulder/joint [thoracic portion o{ pan^ 
niculus\ then the large one [pectoralis major] which arises from the 
whole sternum, a part of which was the fleshy piece by the armpit 
[caudal portion pectoralis major], then the third which, I ex/ 
plained, was hidden under the second [pectoralis minor]. While 
the second itself issues from the whole sternum, the third issues 
from its articulations with all the ribs except the first and seventh. 

The third muscle [pectoralis minor]'f extends over the length 
of the clavicle, forming a triangle. This, the highest of its sides, 

* Here a line perhaps displaced, which may be rendered: 'to make the hollow 
of the armpit along with the muscle at the sternum'. 

■f Text says 'second, which is also the largest', and confuses the pectoralis 
minor with the capsular part o( pectoralis major. 


lies at right angles to the sternal origin which is the upright line 482 
of the triangle, while the third side joins these. The high muscle 
over* this is far stronger than the thirdf muscle and is itself 
a triangle, but obtuse not right-angled [pectoralis major].^^^ 

These three muscles all terminate in flat tendons inserted into 
the humerus. But the tendon belonging to the large muscle 
[pectoralis major] has its insertion lower, in the same line along 
the humerus, below its head, and is double, like the muscle 
itself. For the first part, from the lower portion of the muscle, is 
inserted on the humerus on the inside, and the second, which 
starts from the higher part, on the outside. A tendon from the 
more sinewy muscle first mentioned \_panniculus\, becoming 
membranous and delicate, reaches the articulation, where lie the 
ridges of the hollow {sulcus hicipitalis] occupied by the inner 
head of the anterior muscle of the upper arm [hiceps]. The 
tendon of the third [pectoralis minor] moves up to the highest 
part of the head of the upper arm, inserted into the membranous 48^ 
ligament encircling the joint [in the ape but only exceptionally 
in man]. 

If you cut away these three muscles from the joint, the scapula 
will have been loosened from the chest. It is [still] bound, how/ 
ever, to the sides of the thorax by two muscles coming up from 

One, on the surface, is thin. It is produced from membranes 
attached to the fascia in the iliac region. These arise primarily 
from the lumbar vertebrae. Thence the muscle [latissimus dorsi] 
takes its rise, and the fibres, moving round, become gradually 
fleshy [Fig. 10]. 

The other muscle that comes from below [lower part of 
trapezius]"]^ also arises from the spines of the vertebrae, and 
especially from those of the false ribs. It is considerably involved 
with the base of the scapula. It is loosened by excoriation 
(d arsis). Before it is laid bare it is attached to the [other] 
muscles there, so that it is regarded as naturally united to them. 

* Reading hyper for hypo. f Text reads 'second', 

if Here a displaced phrase 'the large one*. 



Certain anatomists have cited me in giving this view. The 
4S4 muscle can, hov^ever, be separated from these, for the associa^ 
tion is a [mere] concrescence (symphysis), though since the 
fibres are delicate the outline of the excoriated structure is 
preserved without rent. Because of this partnership this large 
muscle is said to unite naturally with both thorax and base of 
scapula, though it can be stripped from them. 

Its origin from the spine is continuous with the other and 
lower muscle [latissimus dorsi] behind the scapula. For where 
the former muscle [trapezius] stops, the latter has its maximal 
origin, lying on part of the spinal muscle below it [Fig. 10]. 

[Here follow eighteen lines concerning severing the thoracic 
muscles running to the humerus. We attach them to the next 
chapter, where they properly belong.] 

Chapter 2 

[Shoulder Muscles] 

4S4 Dissect, as I have explained [p. 123], the two muscles that run 
up to the humerus [pectoralis major and pectoralis ahdominis]. 
Begin from below [i.e. with p. ahdominis] and follow to the 
insertion which the large muscle [p. major] makes with the 
humerus through a flat tendon. Pull it down to its origin to 
see its action clearly. Inserted a little below the head of the 

48s humerus, it draws it down to the ribs. Being so large a muscle, 
it has a tendon that is strong and large, inserted near the large 

The small muscle [pectoralis minor] has a correspondingly 
small tendon, mounted on the other tendons in the axilla and 
inserted on the humerus through a very short handle. Pay 
attention to its origin in the sternum,f lest you tear the mem/ 
branes apart, making the same mistake as our predecessors in 
overlooking the muscle because it is small. 

[Here begins Chapter 2 in the Greek text.] 

* Text here disturbed and evidently a small hiatus, 
f Text reads nonsensically 'ilia'. 



When these muscles to the upper arm have been dissected, 
the scapula remains attached not only by a large muscle [ser^ 
ratus anterior] arising from the subcostal arch but also linked 
with the sternum through the clavicle. Furthermore, it is linked 
by this [that is, by the clavicle] and another small muscle [suh^ 
clavius] coming down from the clavicle to the first rib. This 
[small muscle], being hidden under the clavicle, you will over/ 
look and tear, unless you perform the operation thus: 4^^ 

First cut away from the clavicle the muscle of the shoulder 
[deltoid]. It is continuous and united with the largest of the 
muscles from the sternum [pectoralis major] lying along the 
*shoulder/vein' [cephalic], so that the two muscles seem one. 
The direction of their fibres indicates the first difference between 
them; then that of their tendons; and next that the shoulder 
muscle has an origin in the scapula. Two straight lines (of 
which one is the length of the clavicle and the other the spine of 
the scapula) bound the higher [deltoid] at an angle that may be 
compared to the letter lambda A, while two other straight lines 
in the form of the letter gamma F, as used* in the contests,^^^ 
form the boundaries of the other [pectoralis major]. The insertion 
of the muscle [deltoid] which is higher in the shoulder is set 
below [on the humerus], whereas the apex where the two 
musclesf come together is set [higher and] under the acromion. 4^7 

So in dissecting the other part of the muscle from the clavicle, 
when you reach the top of the shoulder, change the direction 
of the cut and dissect the muscle, stretching it up with hooks, 
and follow the substance of the dissected part, for if you dis/ 
regard this and cut to the depths of the scapula, you will go 
wrong. For there another muscle [spinodeltoid] lies beneath, 
with its own outline, which is separable by excoriation 
(d arsis) from the muscle of the acromion process [acromion 
deltoid]. So as you stretch successively each part of the muscle 

* Literally 'written'. 

f Text says 'ribs' (p L E u r 5 n) where 'muscles' (m y 6 n) is evidently meant. 
The text of the whole paragraph has needed some rearrangement to give it 
anatomical meaning. 



at the acromion with a hook, as it is being cut, you will observe 
clearly the defined outlines of the underlying muscle. Once you 
have lighted on it, you will easily loosen and separate this muscle 
lying above [cleidodeltoid] from the muscle attached to the scapula 
488 [acromiodeltoid]^^'^ Moreover, another muscle [teres major] ex/ 
tends by the side of the scapula, from which you will separate 
it without difficulty, if you first loosen it well from the aforesaid 
muscle. There is yet another muscle [teres minor] which runs upon 
the humerus to its insertion on its front below the articulation. 

The attachment of the large thoracic muscle [pectoralis major] 
is also along the humerus, being extended from the median side. 
This, however, draws the limb inwards whereas the muscle of 
the acromion [acromiodeltoid] pulls it up, not inclining the 
upper arm in any other direction. [Here two lines of repetition.] 
This activity belongs to the muscle because it has two heads 
running round the shoulder, so that if you pull on one, the 
humerus is drawn either anteriorly to the clavicle or posteriorly 
to the scapula. 

48^ Comparable with these are the two muscles extended along 
the scapula [supraspinatus and infraspinatus], the one above, 
the other below [the spine of the scapula]. They are visible when 
the muscle [deltoid] over the shoulder has been dissected as I 
have explained. Proceeding to dissect these muscles, start once 
more from the base of the scapula [vertebral border] where lies the 
origin of each. From there proceed to the shoulder^joint, cutting 
them away as they spring from the scapula, until you see them 
both expanding into flat tendons by which they move the 
humerus obliquely, one outward toward the clavicle, the other 
inward towards the lower part of the scapula. If both are 
stretched, they produce the same straight tension as between 
two obliques (as has been said the humerus receives from the 
deltoid). The higher of the muscles is inserted into the projection 
of the head of the humerus which the greater head of the anterior 

4^0 muscle [hiceps] limits externally. The lower muscle produces an 
APONEUROSIS continuous with this and also into the head of 
the humerus, rather more toward the outside. 


If you consider the anatomy of the arm as a whole, you may 
seek to dissect these muscles at once with those next them, 
following the order of nature. But if you are in haste to reach 
the thorax, leave them in situ and cut away the clavicles from the 
sternum, severing the capsular ligaments, raising them at the 
acromion process, bending them back, and successively cutting 
the other membranes and ligaments by which the clavicles are 
attached. Do this till you see the muscle, small and oblique, 
arising from the inner and lower part of the first rib [suh^ 
clavius]. Its head is next the scapula when the clavicle is 
raised. Its end, through which it is attached to the first rib, is the 
part of it towards the thorax. 

Chapter 3 

[Muscles moving the Thorax] 

When you have cut away this muscle also from the clavicle, 49^ 
take care of one lying close to the first rib [sternocostalis]. For 
when the thorax is presently laid bare, as you pull up [the 
clavicle] toward its head, you will also draw up the first rib. 
You should separate the clavicle not only from the sternum, as 
I have just explained, but also from the acromion, by severing 
the ligaments attaching it to the spine of the scapula. 

You need not seek a third bone in an ape besides the two 
processes (perata = akromion with korakoeides) 
already mentioned. For Hippocrates does not say that [a third 
bone] exists in any other animal but man,^°^ and he adds: *In this 
respect, man's nature is different from the other animals.' If 
you cut away the scapula here, you may bend it back again 
towards the sternum, cutting away the membranes binding it to 
the neighbouring parts. 

Now you will see the muscle ot the first rib [suhclavius]. Cut 
it away, as I have said, from the clavicle, and either remove the 
bone completely or bend it back towards the breast and let it 
lie. If you do this, cut the vessels and nerves at the armpit 49^ 
along with the fascia. 



Thus the arm can be separated from the thorax, for nothing 
remains attaching it thereto except the large muscle [rhomy 
hoideus major] which I described as attached to the vertebral 
border* of the scapula. This muscle arises from the first [cer/ 
vical] vertebra and then passes through the whole neck and [into] 
that part of the scapula where the superior border meets the base 
[vertebral border] so that the bone is as a [re-entrant] angle there. 

I have said before that a thin muscle [rhomhoideus capitis, 
absent in man] reaches this spot, arising from the inion, is 
inserted into the muscles on either side near the above/men^ 
tioned scapular angle. Behind it is the high member of the 
posterior muscles of the scapula [cervical part oUrapezius], while 
in front is the muscle under discussion [rest of rhomhoideus]. 
Reaching the beginning of the base [vertebral border] of the 
scapula, it is inserted throughout its length.f 

This part is occupied by another muscle [serratus anterior], 
from which the muscle under discussion is separated by 
excoriation. It is united only with the base [vertebral border] of 
the scapula, and it is inserted into the middle parts of the ribs 
at their maximum convexity. Its action is to draw up the whole 
thorax except the lower part which is moved by the diaphragm, 
as I shall show. Sometimes, during violent exertion, it is moved 
with the parts above, just as some of the parts lying above the 
diaphragm are moved along with it in a way hard to discern. 
The sum of the activity [of this muscle] is seen in those ribs 
wherein it is inserted. It is cleft into digitations which are at/ 
tached to them. Thus its insertion is neither continuous nor 
uniform, like that of most muscles. It reaches the false ribs and 
draws up all those that lie above them. 

On either side of it [i.e. of the serratus anterior] lie other 
muscles. One is in the front of the thorax [scalenus longus], the 
other in the back [serratus posterior superior], both drawing up 

* Text says 'under the hollow parts' as in next paragraph, but describes 

f Text adds again: 'itself lying under the concave part*. See previous note. 
There seems to be some confusion with the suhscapularis. 


the ribs, so that there are these three muscles higher than the 494 
thorax. I call them the 'posterior*, the 'anterior' and the 'middle*. 
The middle pair [serratus anterior] can by themselves carry on 
the efficient action of the thorax. You will learn how to handle 
them in operations on living animals. 

The second anterior pair of muscles [scalenus lon^us] begins 
from the second [cervical] vertebra, but springing from all the 
others in turn it is inserted in the first five ribs by strong Hgaments. 

So too, the third and last of these membranous muscles 
[serratus posterior superior] — for so they can be called. It begins 
from the ridge of the last three cervical and the first thoracic 
vertebrae, each of them having a membranous ligament as its 
head interwoven with the spinal muscles. When you separate 495 
it, first [you will see] fibres attached to the ligament that pro/ 
duces the muscle. These in apes are very weak and delicate, but 
stronger in other animals. Particularly in pigs, dogs, bears, and 
all jagged/toothed animals [carnivora], this muscle is more 
powerful than it is in apes. It is attached to ribs 3 to 7, and if 
you pull on it from the head you will see them dragged up/ 
wards and dilating the thorax. If you do the same with the 
middle and anterior muscle, you will see the thorax dilate in 
proportion to the size of the muscles. 

These three pairs then of the higher muscles of the thorax are 
responsible for respiration. There is a fourth [pair] belonging to 
the first ribs [scalenus hrevis anterior]. If you stretch them in their 
original position, you will see the first ribs drawn up and the 
upper part of the thorax dilate. 

If the thorax be laid bare, you will see along it two other 
pairs of muscles along its length, one pertaining to the spine, 
the other to the sternum. The pair by the spine is made of 496 
nothing but fleshy tissues and lies on all the ribs of the thorax 
near the spinal muscles [iliocostalis dor si spinalis]. That by the 
sternum [thoracic part of rectus abdominis] is of membranous 
tissue, except that the upper end is fleshy, but even that, taken 
all in all, has little flesh. The membranous part of them is not 
like the other membranes in strength; but it is a sort of ligament 

B. 2353 K 



or flat tendon, powerful enough, being marked off by a white 
line. At the point where they rise, separated from the abdominal 
part of the rectus muscle, this marking off is divided by the trans/ 
verse lines [inscriptiones tendineae\ and extends along the ensi^ 
form bone to the cartilages of the false ribs there, left and right. 
I mentioned this before,^^^ bidding you spare it in dissecting 
the muscles from the sternum; for it adheres to them below and 
is removed with them, so that anatomists are ignorant of it. 

This tendon, as I have said, is continuous with the rectus in 
the region of the abdomen and overlies the ends of all the ribs 
that approach the sternum. It rises to the first rib in all animals 
where its fleshy character is obvious and where it gains some 
breadth. The delicate flesh is buffered by the tendon, and 
especially at the side parts, where the first rib passes from its 
diarthrosis with the spine towards the sternum. 

The other muscle [iliocostalis dorsi] has a similar action. It is 
independent but extended along the spine so that it could be 
thought a part of some other muscle, just as that by the sternum 
is thought to be part of the rectus of the abdomen. Yet it begins 
and ends with the thorax in accordance with its own outline, 
which is rather more round than flat. The lower end is in/ 
serted into the spinal muscle, turning backwards with a slant so 
that, when taut, it both protects and pulls in the ribs. Nature 
seems to want these, to contract the thorax vigorously at need, 
when the abdominal muscles also visibly act. But I shall speak 
of them later. 

There is another pair of muscles [serratus posterior inferior] 
outside the thorax which, inserted along the last ribs, draws 
down this end of the thorax. The head of this pair too coalesces 
with one of the muscles in the abdominal region. I shall 
explain it more clearly when I dissect them. For the time being 
let this suffice, that it draws down the last rib of the thorax 
along with the rib next to the last in most animals, especially 
the carnivores, and it sometimes reaches the third rib. I call 
the last rib, for the moment, not the small rib that is really 
false, which is separate from the others and is attached to the 


fleshy part of the diaphragm, but the rib that comes next to it, 
under which lies a delicate membrane now plainly visible and 
continuous with the membrane that undergirds all the ribs. I 
shall speak more clearly of these muscles a little later. 

Chapter 4 

[The Intercostal Muscles] 

It is now time to expound the so-called 'intercostal' muscles. 49^ 
Neither their nature nor function was recognized by the experts 
in anatomy, any more than those of the muscles mentioned 499 
before by which the thorax was said to be moved. They have, 
however, got as far with the intercostals as to know that their 
fibres are not extended along from spine to sternum but cross 
one another. Yet none has written that their position is oblique 
or that they are twofold, the outer fibres slanting in a direction 
opposite to the inner. 

Ignorant of this, it is obvious that they did not know any/' 
thing about their function. For the present it will suffice to 
grasp their nature alone. When I deal with the living animal, 
however, I shall say a word on their activity, though in my De 
causis respirationis^ I made clear the function of all the muscles 
moving the thorax. Now I say only this, that when all the 
previous muscles are [cut] away, the position of the fibres is 
clearly seen to be oblique in the mid/part of the ribs. 

One must start examining them from the spinal muscles. 5^^ 
Observe that the higher of the two ends of each fibre is nearer 
the spinal muscles and the lower farther away, so that each 
runs slantwise anteriorly, and does not extend straight up. If you 
cut out the spinal muscles too, you will see there also the fibres 
under them slanting in the same way. To observe these at their 
best, the animal should be thin, large, and old. In sleek young 
animals the quantity of moisture and flesh conceals them. 
But given these conditions you will plainly see, springing from 
the bones and nourishing the flesh, delicate fibrous ligaments. 



It is as in the wicker baskets in which they curdle milk [for 

501 cheese]. The fibres from the bones that I called ligaments are 
comparable to the reeds [of the basket], the blood to the milk 
itself, and the flesh to the cheese, for it originates from blood as 
cheese from milk.^^^ 

Beginning then from the spine and following the fibres, 
examine each one and observe its obliquity. If you do this 
going forward to the sternum, at one point you will see the 
direction of the fibres changing as the ribs do. For the rib does 
not reach the sternum with the same slant as that with which 
it started from the spine, inclining from above downward, for 
when it approaches the sternum it becomes [costal] cartilage 
instead of a bone and takes the reverse direction to before, 
running obliquely to the sternum, with which it articulates. 

Where the [costal] cartilage is first produced, the ribs have a 
bend [anterior angle] that is curved rather than angular. The 
cartilages* [there] reverse their direction, running obliquely from 

502 below upward. This happens with all the ribs except only those 
the ends of which do not reach the sternum. The direction of 
these [floating] ribs, from origin to termination, is uniform, and 
devoid of such a bend as that of the ribs articulating with the 

They call those ribs Talse' which terminate in a cartilage of 
considerable size and have the diaphragm attached. [The carti/ 
lage of these is] a guard for its attachment, since Nature acts, as 
ever, with foresight in causing the diaphragm to spring forth not 
from the outside parts of each rib, nor from the end, but short of 
it, and from the inside parts. These ribs have their fibres slanting 
downwards along an oblique line. Those articulated with the 
sternum accommodate their fibres to the change of direction. 

The outer fibres of the intercostal muscles He, according to 
their nature, in a reverse direction from the inner, crossing like 
an X. Try to see them by detaching the ribs from the sternum, 

503 for thus the whole expanse of the thorax cavity will be visible 
and with it the direction of the fibres. To facilitate investiga^ 

* Text reads 'fibres'. 


tion, bend [the ribs] all back to the spine. You will see the 
false ribs from within, with fibres running in opposite direct 
tions within and without, throughout their length. All the 
other ribs have a division at the cartilages, being like the false 
ribs throughout their extent, but in the cartilages as far as the 
breast of the opposite kind. 

Chapter 5 

[The Diaphragm] 

There remains one muscle of the thorax, and that not the least 5^5 
important, called p h r E N E s. Plato thought the p h r e N e s [or 
diaphragm] to be merely a partition between two parts of the 
soul, the appetitive and the irascible [or spirited].^ But the 
diaphragm is not only this but — as was shown in my De 
causis respirationis^ — of all muscles the most useful to the animal 
in respiration. 

This muscle has an origin of such a kind as I have described 
for the costal muscles, in numerous delicate ligaments springing 5^4 
from the bones with simple flesh coagulated round them. In the 
middle of the diaphragm, which may itself be likened to a 
large circle, there is a smaller disk of tendinous nature, in the 
midst of the first. There the fibres lose their fleshiness. 

These parts of the diaphragm can be observed when the 
sternal ribs are loosened from the upper parts. It is not possible, 
however, to get a clear grasp of its whole nature without previa 
ously severing the eight abdominal muscles. We must therefore 
proceed to the dissection of these. [See p. 140.] 

Chapter 6 

[The Abdominal Muscles] 

Though I know that you remember them, I would remind you 504 
of the next steps I take. For it is not likely that this work will 
remain solely among friends. It will pass through the hands of 



many, some ready to cavil at everything, others to extract and 

505 learn the best in it. It is for them that I recall what is known to 
my friends, and repeat what I now say. 

I have often dissected the abdominal muscles immediately 
after the death of the animal by suffocation, and then [dis^ 
sected] the intestines, stomach, liver, spleen, kidneys, bladder 
and, in females, the uterus also. To avoid putrefaction I have 
been accustomed to dissect on the first day these parts only for 
my friends to see, and then on the next day to turn to the other 
parts and to dissect them in the order followed here from the 
start. I shall explain a litde later how to handle the parts within 
the abdomen when one starts from them. Now I shall pass to 
that part of the teaching which follows on what has been said. 

The ribs, detached from the sternum, which I advised you to 
bend back to see within them [p. 132], you must bring back 
to their original position. Then strip off any remains of skin on 
the abdomen and start dissecting the muscles under it. 

506 Begin with the largest and outermost of all [ohliquus exterms]. 
It arises from the thorax, and is spread upon the abdominal 
muscles. You see its origin clearly when the muscles described 
[Bk. V, Ch. I, p. 120] have been dissected. It lies next the 
largest of the high muscles of the thorax [pectordis major] with 
its digitated terminals inserted on the ribs. The ends of these 
processes represent the origin of this muscle, bilaterally sym/ 

The first of the attachments, situated by the sixth rib, Hes 
under the termination of the anterior [serratus anterior l] of 
those muscles moving the thorax. Next it springs from all the 
other ribs, near where bone passes into cartilage [costoy 
chondral jtmctions]. The first false rib also has something analo/ 
gous to this bend, for this eighth [rib], counting from above, 

507 runs up toward the ensiform cartilage, while the other [false 
ribs] fall increasingly short of it, the lower being always shorter 
than the one above. 

This first pair of abdominal muscles [ohliqui externi] arises 
from all these, and its oblique fibres pass towards the front of the 



abdomen. They are extended through the length of the abdomi^ 
nal wall, reaching the innominate bone at the pubes, each on 
its own side, and inserted in front of it through a strong mem^ 
branous tendon. 

The strength of this tendon is sometimes diminished at the 
groin. This area, thus becoming relaxed with the tendon, 
admits into itself some parts of the underlying organs — intes^ 
tines or omentum — and this is now called a *hernia*. This 
membranous tendon is set a Htde above the groin, so that the 
peritoneum passes through along with the tissues surrounding 
it, about which I shall speak again. The parts of these muscles, 
which are extended over the front of the abdomen, end in a 508 
delicate tendon, mounting the rectus muscles superficially. 

So too the tendon of the second pair of the muscles in the 
abdomen [ohliqui abdominis interni] whose fibres have an oblique 
position at right angles to the first, becoming membranous, 
lies on the anterior muscles. Each of these [oblique abdominal 
muscles] begins from the bone of the flank [ilium], and has a 
fleshy origin. From there they are carried up obliquely, riding 
on the transverse muscles (at right angles), and are inserted 
fleshily into the ends of the four false ribs. Their tendon, the 
delicate one, in which they were said to terminate, is between 
the rectus muscles and the tendon of the muscles we spoke of 
before. The tendons of the two muscles you will think become 
one, for it is difficult to separate them, especially when we begin 
with these parts, in dissecting the animal as a whole. In this 
operation, when we start it is easier to separate the tendons if we 
follow up each muscle, for the tendons are continuous with the 
fleshy part where it ends. 

Observing it delimited by its own borders, you will find 5(^9 
without difficulty the membranous tendon springing from each 
muscle. This tendon is produced at the side of the rectus, at the 
rib. In front, the recti touch each other with their anterior sides. 
To right and left they have the membranous tendons mounting 
on them [as the rectus sheath]. Their substance is fleshy above 
throughout, never true tendon, so that they are even attached 



fleshily at the pubes. There they adjoin as they do below the 
animars navel. The higher part of them, as I said, lies side by 
side but not united. Regard them as the third pair of the eight 
abdominal muscles. 

The remaining fourth pair [transversi ahdominis] extend from 
the straight line of the ilia and the transverse processes of the 

Sio vertebrae in the loins. The muscle is not produced immediately, 
but a strong membranous ligament springs from the said bones 
and as it goes forward it acquires transverse fibres, assuming the 
appearance of a muscle and extending under the inner sides 
of the ends of each of the false ribs. Just as they turned into 
muscles by acquiring fibres, so later discarding them anteriorly, 
they terminate in a flat tendon. 

This tendon, like most of the phenomena I have mentioned, 
has remained unnoticed by most physicians. Being membran/ 
ous and light, it is attached to the peritoneum, and the resultant 
tissue is not thought to be, as it looks and in fact is, composite, 
but a single membrane. You must try then to examine its 
unification where first the tendon arises from the flesh and 
mounts on the peritoneum, since if it be rent there it cannot be 
separated [from the peritoneum] unless one has practice and 
knowledge of the nature of each. 

In abdominal wounds, in 'suturing* as it is called, they 

5^^ stretch up and sew together the composite tissue formed from 
both these parts, to wit, the peritoneum proper and the terminal 
tion of the membranous muscle [transuersus ahdominis]. The 
peritoneum itself is very like extended webs of spiders, simple 
and very delicate, not like some tendons which dwindle to 
membrane and yet show (to those who examine them in a 
good light) delicate interwoven fibres within; but not so the 
peritoneum, for it is simple (as has been said), wholly continue 
ous, homoiomerous,^^ and indeed one of the primary tissues. 
And you see it clearly, as it is by nature, in the lower parts [i.e. 
below the linea semicircularis] where it is alone, the oblique 
muscles being separated from it. For they mingle and are con/ 
joined with the recti, leaving the peritoneum. 


Enough has been said of the eight muscles of the abdomen, 
at least for a first review of the anatomical operations. 

Chapter 7 

[The Abdominal Muscles continued] 

I must next explain how best to conduct the dissection from here. 5^ 1 

Remove the skin of the abdomen where there is no danger of 
cutting or injuring any of the underlying tissues, for the sub/ 512 
cutaneous tissue here is separated from the muscles. Anyone 
guided by the nature of the tissues can do this. 

In passing laterally to the false ribs, if you are careless you may 
tear away the head of the small muscle* which, I said, runs into 
the armpit and was unnoticed by the anatomists [panniculus 
carnosus]. For the membrane continuous with the skin acquires 
at intervals fleshy fibres, first greater, then less, and then again 
robust, which extend as far as a muscular strand which is both 
thin and flat. This runs up to the armpit, where its fibres con/ 
verge into a narrow fleshy strand. If you strip away its expanded 
lower origin with the skin, you will find that the fleshy part 
extended to the armpit is rent. If on the one hand you are di\u 51 j 
gent and seek the point from which it is torn and do not find it, 
you will be full of doubt, as I was at first. But on the other hand, 
if you are careless and easy/going (as our anatomical predeces/ 
sors demonstrably were in many of their operations), holding 
this fleshy sheet to be of no account, you will cut or tear it away 
from the underlying tissues and throw it away. As to the need 
for exercising precision in removing the skin there, enough has 
now been said [Fig. 8]. 

When the whole abdominal region has been laid bare, you 
must dissect the eight muscles as follows. The body is bisected 
by a straight line from above through the whole thorax. If you 
obtain clear indications, which I shall now mention, with 
reference to this line, you will get a useful survey in* many places. 

* The reference is probably to a passage missing on p. 477 of Greek text. 



The first landmark is the end of the ensiform cartilage. Passing 

514 upward from there through the middle of the sternum, you 
will have as your last mark the top of the sternum. This region 
is hollow, being bounded by the clavicles and the muscles 
running down from the head, as is clearly visible when the skin 
is removed. Extend this line downward to end at the junction 
of the pubic bones as limit. In the middle, between the point of 
the ensiform [and the pubes] lies the navel. For dissection of the 
first abdominal muscles, the skin being removed, start from the 
ensiform, cutting superficially round the navel. You see beneath 
a line [linea alha] whiter than the tissues on either side. This is 
the surest token of a satisfactory incision, for the fleshy muscles 
that I called recti are bounded thereby. It is whiter because no 
flesh lies under it. 

The membranous tendons surrounding the recti, which are 

515 produced from the oblique muscles, meet along this line. So cut 
it gently, so as not to incise any of the underlying tissues but 
only to sever the tendons from one another. If you do this well, 
you will find, as the proverb goes, that *well begun is half done'. 
The saying takes every beginning to be half of the job, yet 
many beginnings are easily made. But the beginning in dissect^ 
ing the muscles is really and truly half the task; for, unless well 
performed, there is confusion and disorder in all the subsequent 
operations. Nevertheless, even when it has been done as I 
directed, a double operation awaits you. 

It is better to practise the easy alternative first, for there is hope 
that thus when you later undertake the harder you will not miss 
the mark. It is a simpler and easier operation either to pull up 
the rectus with a hook or pull it to the side with the left hand 
^16 and then make the incision gently, separating it from the under^ 
lying tissues. (As in this dissection you aided the cutting hand 
with the left, so it is better to do the same thing in first dis/ 
sections in general, for in this way you will make the direct 
incision from the ensiform better.) 

The four fingers of the [left] hand should be laid along the 
muscle and firmly and gently draw it to the side. If this is 



properly done for the two muscles, the space between them in 
which I directed you to make the first cut will be plainer to view. 
When you have separated it correcdy, one hand will be enough, 
drawing the muscle that is being dissected gendy to the side. 

You must complete the operation as far as the navel region, 
till you are sure that a large portion of the muscle is bared. The 
peritoneum lies under it, along with the aponeuroseis of 
the transverse muscles, from which the large muscles [recti] 
come naturally away, so that I myself separate them with my 
fingers. You must not do this at the first incision, but in the 517 
course of the operation. 

When they have been clearly separated, the job may be 
quickly accomplished. Put your fingers beneath and strip off 
what remains of the underlying muscles. This done, either: 
[a] Cut away their upper end where lie their connexions: dis^ 
place the muscles a litde to make their outlines visible, for on 
the outside the tendon common to the oblique muscles lying 
upon them hampers their connexion; or [h] if you do not wish 
to cut their heads but would keep them all uninjured, try to 
strip off the tendon lying on them, which is thought by those 
who dissect carelessly to be a sheath peculiar to these muscles, 
but which is the kind most possess, being their own membranes 
united. Strip it off first in one piece, so that the outlines of the 
recti appear. Then divide it in two, assigning one part of it to 
the first and largest of the muscles [ohliquus externum abdominis] 51 5 
and the part under this to the second [ohliquus internus ahdo^ 
minis]. Let these then be designated the 'oblique' muscles, and 
*first' and 'second' of that kind. Under them is the 'third', 
stretched out lengthwise [rectus abdominis] under which lies 
the Tourth', the muscle that runs transversely and adheres to the 
peritoneum [transuersus abdominis]. [Here four lines of almost 
verbal repetition.] 

When you have had enough practice in the processes I 
described, make an attempt, after the first straight incision, to 
separate from the recti first the superficial tendon of the 'first' 
muscle, then that which comes from the 'second' muscle. 



Having shown that the two are mutually connected [as anterior 
layer of rectus sheath], begin the dissection of the recti. Thus you 
will get the whole business clear and avoid confusion when the 
muscles are separated with their own aponeuroseis. 
51^ What you did at first with the thorax on the first pair of the 
muscles, beginning from above, do now in the opposite way, 
taking in hand the membranous tendon. Stretch it up gradually 
and try to strip off the first and largest muscle [ohliquus 
externus] up to its origin. You will not be able at this attempt 
to trace its entire length, because of the thoracic muscles over/ 
lying it. Dissect it far enough to show its origin. Yet the remain/ 
ing three muscles you can cut away without removing any of 
the overlying tissues [except the *first']. Just as you dissected the 
first, starting from its tendon to its origin above, following the 
continuous substance of the fibres, so dissect the second 
[ohliquus intemus], passing from tendon to fibres and preserving 
their continuity up to their origin. You had already dissected 
the third fleshy muscle [rectus] to the navel. Somewhat below, 
you will see the one [second] muscle uniting with the other 
[first], and intermingled with them there the lower part of 
the underlying pair of the transverse muscles [the fourth]. For 
the latter recedes from the peritoneum and leaves it bare [at the 
linea semicircularis]. 
This is enough for the present about the abdominal muscles. 

Chapter 8 

[The Diaphragm again] 

^20 Taking up the thread [of discourse] on the diaphragm, let us 
add what we left unexplained [p. 133] on its nature, since that 
could not be clear until the abdominal region had been revealed. 
Obviously — unless we would make many demonstrations on 
one animal — we can, by cutting through the parts in front, 
reach the subject of our investigation at each dissection. 
What if one wished to demonstrate the nature of the 



PHRENES alone, or if some problem arose about their struc/ 
ture requiring a separate anatomical operation ? Would it not be 
reasonable on such occasions to cut right through the abdominal 
wall, including the peritoneum and, removing the viscera, to 
show first the origin of the phrenes from the false ribs (of 
which I have spoken) and next the junctions into the spine and 521 
then display and divide its parts, which differ in substance, 
position, action, and use 5"^ 

The muscle produces its aponeurosis as a flat tendon, 
the mid/point of the diaphragm, which is surrounded on all 
sides by the fleshy muscles. On both its surfaces, above and 
below, is a delicate membrane [i.e. pleura and peritoneum]. 
These membranes you will display exactly if you attend to the 
following account. 

The higher of them [pleura] being twofold lines the cavity of 
the thorax, right and left. The wide space within the thorax is, 
however, not continuous but partitioned by these membranes, 
which run straight up, through the length of the thorax, side 
by side except for the area containing the heart, where they 
retreat from each other and are separate. For where they receive 
in their midst [the heart] — itself girt by a membrane thicker 
than they — they reach as far as the ensiform cartilage.* 

They are simple in their nature and are interwoven, and 522 
spoken of as undergirding (hypezokotes)^^'^ the ribs, but, 
where they run straight up to the throat, as ^partitioning' 
(diaphrattontes). They surround and protect the lungs. 
Their base lies on the upper suface of the diaphragm, corre^ 
sponding to a similar membrane on its lower surface, which is 
very justly called the *apex of the peritoneum'. 

This [lower] membrane is continuous, lining the whole 
undersurface of the diaphragm, and where it is pierced for 
essential purposes, there it surrounds the structures that pass 
through it and extends along them. So also the membranes 
from above that underlie the thorax, extend along and encircle 
the vessels that pass through them. 

* Here three lines of near repetition. 



There are two perforations in the phrenes. The larger, 
where the phrenes adhere to the vertebrae, is prepared as a 

523 path for the oesophagus (stomachos) and the great artery 
[aorta]. The smaller receives the vena cava [i.e. v. cava mferior]^ 
which brings blood to the upper parts of the animal, and 
escorts it safely on its way, surrounding it with a connexion 
that is quite indissoluble in its passage to the thorax on the right. 

None of these organs, vena cava, oesophagus, or artery, can 
escape the notice of anyone, when the lower part of the dia^- 
phragm is laid bare. The vena cava comes to the notice of dis/ 
sectors first, since it is above and has nothing in front of it, 
when the [abdominal] muscles have been removed. To examine 
carefully the other perforation of the phrenes, set about two 
operations. Firstly, open up the thorax through its length and 
follow the oesophagus as it descends to the diaphragm. Secondly 
pull and draw aside the stomach, and you will see its [cardiac] 

524 end lying by the phrenes. It is not firmly united with them 
as is the vena cava, but separated from them by slack tendons. 
This perforation is not quite circular here, but rather triangular, 
with the apex upward and the base firmly fixed at the back. 

Of course Hippocrates is right in saying: *Thus the phrenes 
in this region surround both the arteria and the STO^ 
MACHOS, as the ARTERIA is fixed in the very middle of the 
rhachis and the stomachos lies alongside to the left. 
And what is more, a certain small phleps and two neura 
pass through along with them'"^ — of which this is not the time 
to discuss details. For what is said of the artery or the oeso/ 
phagus is not said so much in reference to them as such, but 
is incidental to the exposition of the perforation of the dia/ 
phragm — a thing that will be more completely expounded in 
its place. 

Because of these parts that traverse it, and even more because 
of the loin muscles, the diaphragm does not fit naturally to the 

525 spinal column as it should. For this circular muscle is active 
longest of all the muscles in the thorax. Wherefore it needed 
to be attached strongly by ligaments to firmly fastened bones. 


But since the said organs perforce run down from above, and 
the muscles in the loins had to extend upward above the 
diaphragm, its muscle was bereft of union with the spine, or 
rather, deprived of union at this part. 

For Nature, with her ready invention, never and nowhere 
fails in solicitude for the animal creation. Thus in the lower 
parts she does unite the diaphragm to the vertebrae by two very 
strong [arcuate] ligaments. And the parts of the diaphragm 
surrounding the artery and the cardia [i.e. crura] extend over the 
succeeding vertebrae, to a greater extent in other animals whose 
thorax is strong and robust, though it is true that in apes they 526^ 
are there, but connected by weaker ligaments. Later I shall deal 
with these differences. 

Chapter 9 

[The Lumbar Muscles] 

Since our scheme involves an exposition primarily of the ape, 52^ 
you should dissect that form and observe its diaphragm. You 
will observe also the muscles [longus colli] under the oeso^ 
phagus (sTOMACHOs), when you reach them, following the 
proper order in dissection and moving down to the fourth 
thoracic vertebra. For while the spine as a whole has muscles 
on the inner side, you will find only the six middle vertebrae 
of the thorax to be without them.^^'^ 

Some of the muscles of the vertebrae, beginning above from 
the head, bend the upper portion of the spine, whereas those of 
the lumbar [vertebrae] bend only the lower portion. The 
vertebrae of the part between [i.e. T.4--9] are moved by [the 
intrinsic spinal] muscles on either side. 

Since you have laid bare most of what is below the dia^ 
phragm, there would be no harm in removing from the 
lumbar muscles the membrane that lies over* them. This, as I 
shall explain later, is the peritoneum. 

* Text reads 'under*. 



When it is stripped off, you will see the psoas muscles; 

527 strictly speaking they are single muscles, one on either side 
along the spine, for the two [parts on either side] are united at 
their origin above throughout the loin. When they approach 
the broad bone (called by some, as you know, the sacrum),^ 
they separate, and are applied to the inner side of the ilium. At 
the same time they are joined there by many strands ( s A R k A i ) 
from the ilium [iliopsoas]. 

Following now from below the strands that we call psoai 
you will find two tendons joining them from the ilia, one for 
either of the muscles. These tendons anatomists generally call 
APONEUROSEis of the muscles. 

One of them, the inner [psoas minor], can be better regarded 
as a ligament than a tendon. It is inserted where the pubic bone 
joins the ilium. The other [psoas major] descends to the small 
trochanter of the femur. The former arises at the higher portion 
of the fleshy lumbar mass, and advances through the inner 
region. The latter arises [somewhat] lower, beside it and on the 

528 outside and [lower still] that which comes to it from the ilium. 
The ligament of the former is longer. The tendon [of the latter], 
descending to the small trochanter, is shorter but powerful. 
Preserve it for the dissection of the muscles moving the joint at 
the hip. 

If you examine carefully the other [i.e. the tendon of psoas 
minor], you will find it harder and whiter than tendons [com/ 
monly] are, as if of ligamentous substance. You must therefore 
regard it as a head rather than a termination of the inner parts 
of the psoas. So each head of the outer parts [of the iliopsoas] 
from the ilium has its head [ekphysis] much smaller than 
that of the inner [psoas minor] but serving the same end. For 
the said two portions of the psoas, extending downward, 
bend the spine at the loins, and also the neighbouring 
METAPHRENON."^ Similarly the muscles under the oesopha/ 
gus — and of them I shall speak later — bend the upper part 
of the spine while involving also the vertebrae of the 




The psoas provides the head of the tendon that reaches the 
trochanter of the femur. That which lies on either side of this 
head is the termination — not a head — of two muscles bending 
the spine. Thus each psoas muscle^mass has three parts: [a] the 
inner, with origin high up [psoas minor]; [h] the middle one, 
starting from a lower origin [psoas major]; and [c] the outside 
one, with its fleshy origins lower down [iliacus]. However, the 
ligament below this last starts from the upper parts of the 
ilium and therefore differs widely from the other two in length, 
as in thickness. 

Chapter 10 

[The Intrinsic Spinal Muscles] 

Examine carefully the origins of all the spinal muscles. They s^9 
start from the second cervical vertebra [longissimus infermedius 
and/or iliocostalis], each having two separate heads. The space 
between them is fully occupied by the muscles missed by 
anatomists. (I have already gone through them thoroughly 
enough [pp. 109-12].) They become progressively more robust. 
Their origins are delicate, but at each vertebra an additional 55^ 
slip fuses with them and, passing through the neck, they be^ 
come considerable in size and strength. They coalesce with 
one another at the end of the neck, becoming muscular there, 
on either side of the spine, so that the heads of both muscles 
number four. 

Their fibres are oblique, some running from the spine for/ 
wards and downwards, and some the opposite way, starting 
from APOPHYSEis at the side, but tending backwards and 
downwards. Give care to them when, in dissecting each muscle, 
you arrive at last at the loins. For there, from a certain mem/ 
branous Hgament arising in the regions by the spine, muscles 
spring which run up gently slantwise to the last ribs of the 
thorax [iliocostalis lumhorum]. In other animals they are of con/ 
siderable size, but in apes small, like all the muscles in the 

B. 2363 




These muscles draw down the last ribs. In other animals they 
551 extend as far as the third and fourth ribs, counting the ribs 
from below; but in apes they reach [only to] the second and 
third of the so/called false ribs, sometimes only the latter. 
Anatomists have overlooked them too, cutting away part of 
them, I think, with the eight abdominal muscles, and leaving 
the other part adhering to the spinal muscles. 


On the Alimentary Organs 

Chapter i 

[Principles of Comparative Anatomy] 

I decided that it was best to write this work in the same order 53^ 
as my De usu partium,^^ wherein the account of the limbs is 
followed by that of the organs of assimilation. To these we now 

Likest man in their arms and legs are those apes which have 
neither long faces nor large canines; these [parts] increase and 533 
decrease in unison. Such [apes] have an upright gait, speed in 
running, a thumb to the hand, a temporal muscle, and hair 
variously hard and soft, long and short. If you observe one of 
these characters, you can be sure about the others, for they 
always go together. Thus if you see an ape running swiftly up/ 
right, you may assume, without close inspection, that it is like 
a man. And you can predict that it has the other characters, 
namely round face, small canines, and a relatively fair^sized 
thumb. On the other hand, [you may predict] that its toes are 
smaller than those of other apes, that its temporal muscles are 
small, that the muscles from femur to leg do not reach very far 
down, and that the so-called 'coccygeal bone' is small. 
You may assume too that this ape is not shaggy and that its 
hair is not very bristly or long [pp. 2-4; Figs. 2-4]. 

So, too, if any of these characteristics are different, all the 
others will differ. Some such [apes] are very like the dog/ 534 
faced baboon; they have a long coccyx, and may have a tail. 
These are also the shaggiest of apes, and have hard, straight 
hair, and their look is ferocious, while in the true ape it is timid. 
In the latter, too, the temporal muscle rises very high and stops 
near the coronal suture, as in men. 



Again, in all such apes as dog/faced baboons, which have a 
long jaw and a small thumb, the teeth are large, with con^ 
spicuous canines, while the muscles that descend to the leg from 
the femur go very low, so that the ham is as though flexed. For 
this reason they cannot extend their legs properly, and so can/ 

535 not stand well. How could an animal unable to stand well 
either walk erect or run swifdy [on its hind legs] ? Nor in 
their feet do they resemble man in having one toe large and the 
others small, but all their toes are large and the largest in man 
is not so in them. They have the root of a tail in the body, 
and their whole monkeyhood suggests the dog/faced baboon. 

Though it is best practice to dissect the limbs of apes most 
like man, yet it is better to use one of those unlike than none; 
better, that is, to take a dog/faced baboon or tailed ape or 
*lynx'.^^ In a word, any distincdy pentadactyl animals may be 
used, for these creatures have a collar/bone and a sternum of 
some breadth, wherefore they can walk on two legs, like a 
man, though imperfectly. 

After such animals, next best are such as the bear, the lion 
and carnivores in general (karcharodonta, sawtoothed) . 
If the creeping kind, as weasels, cats, and mice, had not been 

536 so small, their limbs too would have been useful for anatomical 
practice. All these have only four fingers, having lost the 
*thumb'. Some indeed have a sort of sketch of one at its base, 
but note that even this is not far separated from the index as in 
man. If you have had practice on an ape, you will be able to 
dissect these animals too, for, among other characteristics, they 
also have the flat tendon attached under the palm, as also the 
muscles that move the fingers, wrist, and radius, though ohv'u 
ously not those that move the thumb. 

In a word, the activities and appearances of the parts which 
each of these creatures outwardly displays will give you a hint 
of its internal structure. For parts that perform the same func/ 
tions and have the same outward appearance necessarily have 
557 the same inner structure.* Nature has created for each a body 
* This sentence is repeated. 



conformable to the impulses of its psyche. Wherefore they all 
use their bodily parts from birth as if taught. 

I have never tried to dissect ants, gnats, fleas, and other 
minute animals, but I have frequently dissected such creeping 
animals as cats and mice, and crawling things, as the snake, 
and many kinds of birds and fishes. This I did to convince 
myself that there was a single Mind that fashioned them, and 
that the body is suited in all ways to the character (ethos) of 
the animal. For from such knowledge you can predict, on see/ 
ing an animal for the first time, what kind of structure it has 
under the skin, and oft have I shown the truth of this. Nor did 
this idea come to me from another source, nor reach me other/ 
wise than from my conviction that each animal has a bodily 53^ 
structure akin to the character and powers of its soul (psyche). 

There is thus nothing astonishing in predicting the inner 
structure of each animal from its external appearance, and this 
the more if you see it in action, as I mentioned with animals 
that move upright. Nay, more: if you hear an animal's voice, 
you can make some conjecture about its vocal organs, not 
alone from the volume of the voice but also from its general 
character. I shall speak of this more clearly under the vocal organs. 

I have enlarged on the point about the limbs because I 
explained their structure in Books I-IVof this work. So, hoping 
that those who had gained experience in them beforehand 
would follow the argument, using them as an example, I gave 
details on the similarity and identity of the other animals 
which you can discern from the activities and the shape of the 
whole and its parts. Thus a finger, wherever it is, has that 
structure in virtue of which it is a finger. If it be a particular sort 539 
of finger, it has such a structure as fits that sort. So too of the 
ulna and radius and each of the other parts. In so far as it is 
ulna or radius, it has ever the same general structure, whereas 
as radius or ulna in any particular animal it will have a like 
structure in like animals and merely an analogous structure in 
the unlike. 

Whoso then is trained to use his reason and uses his natural 



ability, easily finds the elements that are identical and those that 
are different [in each creature]. Even one with neither natural 
gifts nor training may, by dissecting many animals, come dimly 
to conceive that it is neither by accident nor by chance that the 
identical element is present in each species, but by virtue of its 
own peculiar being; whereas it is by certain accidents that the 
element of difference is produced in the various particulars in 
what we call ^individuals' [of the same species]. 

Wherever you see a limb extended and flexed, and again 
rotated, there must be in that limb muscles of two kinds, some 

540 for extension and flexion, others for rotation. Consider, then, 
whether there is one bone in the member, as in the upper arm, or 
two, as in the forearm. If one, seek for straight and oblique muscles, 
if two (as ulna and radius), be sure that one produces the exten/ 
sion and flexion and the other the rotation. Consider also that 
among the muscles moving them, those responsible for the 
oblique movement have a more oblique position, those respon/ 
sible for the straight movement a straighter. This characteristic 
is shared by all members with comparable movements. The 
size of the muscles and their form and position is alike in 
muscles that are alike in shape, and unlike in the unlike.* 

Chapter 2 

[The Three Kinds of Alimentary Organs] 

541 On first hearing you may find unconvincing what I propose to 
say on the digestive organs, to which all the previous discourse 

542 has been leading. Yet if you take pains to observe many animals, 
like and unlike in kind, it will no longer seem incredible, but 
marvellous, for they reveal one Art as the maker of all living 
things. In constructing the parts. He has ever before him their 
uses for His end. 

Now there is one activity common to all animals. All require 

* The same point is illustrated again in sixteen confused lines on little finger 
and thumb which are here omitted. 


food. And you will find in each species threefold organs: first, 
certain organs made by Nature to receive and digest the food 
and to distribute [it] through the body; second, another kind 
to receive the *v^aste products', which you may so name, or call 
them with Aristotle 'excreta' (perittomata);^^"^ and third, 
parts for eliminating these. 

The part in which all animals receive the food is called 
GASTER [stomach of modern nomenclature]. In it the food 
undergoes a first minor change. It is thus predigested for the 
liver which brings about a very great change in the nutriment 
that reaches it. From the liver veins conduct it, ready digested, 543 
throughout the whole body.^^^ 

That the nutriment may be carried from the liver into the 
whole body, pure and with no waste^product. Nature has con^ 
trived organs fitted for the second kind of purpose. Some of 
these organs clear away the thin and light part of it, some the 
earthy and heavy part, some the intermediate, which is watery 
and serous. The organs that clear away the first are called by 
physicians 'bile^ducts' (poroi choledochoi). The gall/ 
bladder (kystis CHOLEDOCHOs)is named after the ducts. 
Those of the visceral organs which deal with the earthy and 
heavy part are the spleen and, of the intestines, the lower part 
as far as the rectum [lit. 'the part made straight']. The organs 
of the third or intermediary kind are ureters, kidneys, and 
urinary bladder. That the elimination of waste products be 
controlled by the animal's will. Nature has placed muscles 
surrounding the ends of the passages of those parts of the third 

It was essential for the regulation of assimilation that these 
three types of organ should be created by Nature in all animals. 544 
Thus common and similar features in all are intestines, stomach, 
veins, and liver among the first kind; gall-bladder, bile^ducts 
for separating and evacuating waste products, attached to the 
liver, and further the spleen, are among the second kind; 
kidneys and the muscles that subserve [the organs] for elimina/ 
tion of excreta are among the third kind. 


chapter 3 

[ The Three Grades of Digestion in Different Animals] 

544 Some animals live on stronger, some on weaker, foods. Nature 
has looked to this in making the stomach different in different 
kinds. If you see an animal new to you from India or Libya 
or Scythia, eating prickly food, be sure it has been given a large 
and rough stomach. If without upper teeth it certainly has more 

545 than one stomach, so that the food swallowed into the first is 
later regurgitated therefrom, chewed in the mouth, then re/ 
swallowed into a second stomach, and then transferred to 
another, and then yet again to a further [fourth] one.*^^^ 

Having learned of the world of Nature from your observa/ 
tions, you must expect her art to be the same in all her creations. 
Thus much we hold as to the arts of man, for without seeing 
all the statues by Pheidias and Polycleitus, we conjecture them 
from those we know. So whoso has experience of the works of 
Nature from what he has seen, can form an idea of the others. 

^46 We who have had a more extensive acquaintance with Nature's 
works are all convinced that the organs which digest food and 
prepare it are of a size and form that best fit the food to be taken. 

I am thus assured that every animal which lacks upper teeth 
has several stomachs and ruminates. So the animal that pos/ 
sesses the upper row of teeth can neither ruminate nor have 
several stomachs but must have a single stomach Hke that of the 
flesh^eaters (sarkophagoi). Horned animals have no upper 
teeth because, in them, the earthy excretion in the head is used 
up for the horns. It is not, however, because they are horned 
that they have several stomachs and ruminate, but, feeding on 
herbage (phryganode), they have no need of upper teeth. 
Of course the camel, though hornless, nevertheless ruminates 
and has several stomachs, because it eats herbage, but for this 

547 very reason the inner covering of its mouth is rough, as is that 
of its entrails. 

I would have discoursed longer on the greatness of Nature's 
* Here seven lines of repetition. 


art as manifested in the animal world, did the plan of this 
present work allow. Let it suffice to have illustrated it for the 
argument. You will find the organs of assimilation in whatever 
animal you examine, as I have described in Books IV and V 
of my De usu partium.^^ For example, you will see coursing to the 
gate (PYLE, porta) of the liver all the veins from intestines, 
stomach, spleen, and epiploon [omentum] as it is called. 
This EPIPLOON is in the first class of organs of assimilation 
which digest the food, for it is provided as a sort of covering 
united to them for warmth's sake. 

Omitting then, in the present account, any consideration of 
differences in the intestines and belly, you will find all the 
features I am going to mention in all the animals on which I 
advised you to gain anatomical experience. First and foremost S4^ 
observe apes, and among apes, those that most resemble man, 
and, after them, all to which you can give the name 'animals' 
(zoa). Of these first all that form the ape/like class, and after 
these bears, and then next the carnivores, then mice and their 
kind, and then the so-called *whole^hooved' animals, and 
sixthly, the ruminants.* 

The ancients referred obscurely to these classes when they laid 
it down that their own anatomical accounts should always be 
verified only in those *of a nature near to that of man'. But with 
the digestive organs, not only do all the animals mentioned in 
my De usu partium possess them, but many others too which 
are far removed from man: animals which crawl, creep, and 
swim.f . . . And what shall be said of these things in elephants 
and camels and Nile horses [hippopotami] and all such S49 
animals? For they have all the characteristics in the digestive 
organs described in that work. Whichever of these animals 
you have to dissect, make the experiment in two ways, some/ 
times starting from the muscles of the abdomen.:]; 

* This sentence in effect repeats the previous sentence, 
f Here two irrelevant lines represent a hiatus. 

ij: The chapter ends with four corrupt and meaningless lines here omitted. 


Chapter 4 

[The Peritoneum] 

549 I shall first state what comes first in the account of their 
structure. Severing all the muscles of the abdomen from 
xiPHOEiDES cartilage to pubic bones, you encounter a 

550 delicate, widespread, web/like tissue, the so/called peritoneum.* 
This membrane is, in substance, one of the simple primary 
bodies well named homoiomereiai.^^ It has the name peri/ 
toneum as stretched round (peritetasthai) all the in^ 
testines, viscera, and vessels between the diaphragm and hips. 
It surrounds all the organs between these, including womb and 

Think of the animal which we are dissecting as lying on its 
back. You will be told of parts lower in depth, that is, all the 
parts round and along the spine, those lying along the bone 
called *flat' (platy) [sacrum] as far as the ischium and pubis, 
and, on the other hand, of the parts that are higher in depth, 
as those round the navel and the skin continuous with it, and 

551 those by the hypochondria.f 

Around all these, then, and around the parts which lie 
between them, this delicate membrane is wrapped. It cannot 
easily be peeled off without tearing things apart. This is particu^ 
larly so at the diaphragm and at the two muscles in the 
EPIGASTRIC N, one at each side [transversi ahdominis]. Where 
these have a flat and tendinous fascia (aponeurosis) the 
peritoneum is attached to it inseparably. Know, therefore, that 
the stitching up of belly [wounds] is possible only by including 
peritoneum with this fascia. 

The peritoneum, separated from all the organs in contact 
with it, is as a container (sphaira), having outgrowths in 
some places and perforations in others. Proceed then to detach 
the peritoneum by finding out where it separates from the 

* Here five lines of verbiage as to whether the peritoneum be 'coat', 'covers 
ing', or 'membrane' are omitted, 
■j" Paragraph somewhat abbreviated in translation. 



attached muscles. This is in one place not far from the navel 55^ 
where it is separated from the transverse muscles [transversi 
abdominis] and stands alone [as the arcuate line]. Here you 
can preserve it without difficulty when you strip it from the 
surrounding parts, but you will find it difficult when, moving 
upward, you encounter the transverse muscles. 

You will realize its nature if you observe it exacdy in the 
parts where it stands alone. You will recognize that they err 
who [think they] stitch it up alone in abdominal wounds 
when, in fact, it is with the aponeurosis. It is plainly 
visible as it rises to the navel, where it is united with the delicate 
tendon of the transverse muscles from which, I said, it is not 
easily separable without being torn. 

If the animal be large, it is possible for you to attain your 
object and preserve the continuity of the peritoneum as far as 
the false ribs. There transverse muscles end and another muscle, 
the PH RENE s [diaphragm] succeeds them. The nature [of the 
diaphragm] is that of a true muscle of circular form, the centre 553 
being tendinous surrounded by a circle that is fleshy as far as its 
attachment, of which I speak at greater length in discourses 
devoted to it [Bk. V, ch. 5 and 8]. Here it is discussed as far 
as necessary for explaining the relations of the peritoneum. 

Where the transverse muscles end, the peritoneal membrane 
extends under the fleshy part of the diaphragm, from which it 
can be stripped as you did from the other muscles. But in their 
case you were moving in the length of the animal towards the 
thorax; now you will have to move down to the spine, where 
the diaphragm is attached. The union of peritoneum with the 
fleshy part of the diaphragm is not so hard to dissolve as it is with 
the sinewy part. But, with care loosening is possible as far as 
where the vena cava enters the convex surface of the liver and 
is attached to the diaphragm, with which we are not concerned. 

On the left of this junction there is another lower down, by 554 
the starting/place of the stomach (g aster), which they call 
its *orifice' (stoma) where the gullet (stomachos) comes 
to an end at the diaphragm. The peritoneum extends here to 



the orifice of the stomach, and its substance becomes thicker 
there, so that it is not hard to strip it from the expansion 
(koili a). Just as it is thickest there [over the stomach] so it is 
thinnest over the liver, to the parts of which it is a true protect 
tive tunic (chiton). Some call the peritoneum as a whole a 
CHITON since it enwraps stomach, liver, spleen, kidneys, 
intestines, bladder, and uterus, but what does it matter? 

Leave now the liver and follow the peritoneum as it sur/ 
rounds the stomach until you reach its most convex part. As 
you strip it you will see a large vein, coursing as though super/ 
ficially for the length of the stomach [^astroyepiploic vein]. From 
555 that superficial vein numerous delicate branches extend into the 
stomach, one after another, in a series along the line of the 
greater curvature. 

The peritoneum, extending over the stomach, meets these 
veins, clings to them, rises up to the large vein from which they 
spring, forming a cover, a protection, and a support for them. 
For it is there double and embraces the stomach completely. In 
making this circuit, it reaches the anterior and lower part and 
returns again to the convex part, to meet the same vessels 
[gastro/epiploic] as it met when moving down from above. 
Thus it surrounds and supports them, coming up from this 
large vein. In this space between the two layers of the peri/ 
toneum lie the vessels of the stomach, and also the large high/ 
placed vessel, with an artery lying beside it, similarly giving 
branches in its course [right and \di gastric artery and vein\. 

Chapter 5 

[ The Great Omentum and Other Abdominal Structures] 

55^ Just as small offshoots of the large vessels move down into the 
stomach, so also other small branches from the large vessels 
[gastro^epiploics] run down unattached toward the navel, sur/ 
rounded by the two portions of the peritoneum [great omentum]. 
This body, compounded of two folds of peritoneum and vessels 



between them, reaches in some animals only a short distance 
below the navel, but in others as far as the pubic bones. It was 
named by the Greeks of old epiploon or epiploun. It is 
largest in men and apes. For this reason many men are called 
'epiploon carriers' (epiplookomistai). They give this 
name to the hernia [epiplocele] formed when the omentum 
breaks into the passage to the testicles of which I will speak 
later. No animal except the ape suffers from this disorder. This 
organ has^^^ been named epiploon as 'floating on' the 
intestines without uniting with any, except perhaps by a few 557 
strands [adhesions] on the right to the colon. I have explained 
the origin of the higher portion of the epiploon: its other parts 
must be next discussed. 

Having examined the veins running downwards from the 
convex part of the stomach, surrounded by a double layer of 
peritoneum, you must then pursue the vein in the convex part at 
either end. On the right side of the animal it will bring you to 
the attachment of the small intestine as it leaves the stomach; 
on the other side to the sinus of the spleen. 

This organ lies on the left. Its convex part is toward the ends 
of the false ribs and their continuation along the left flank. Its 
concave part faces toward the right, opposite the liver and the 
parts there. The [splenic] vein which extends from the con/ 
vexity (tes koilias) of the stomach into the cleft of the 55^ 
spleen, passes into it just as it does to the stomach, that is, high 
up, supported by the peritoneum where it is double. As in the 
case of the stomach (g aster) it sends forth many small 
branches, some into the spleen and others into the omentum. 
But the vessel is not exhausted at the spleen; for its residue, with 
the residue of its conjoined artery, passes down through the left 
flank, serving as a starting/point from which the omentum 

The omentum extends with its vessels until they are used up, 
dividing like branches into twigs and shoots. So too the part of 
the omentum in the right iliac region can be traced down with 
the vessels which are continuous there with the convex part of 



the stomach, so that if you follow them you get a good view of 
its origin. 

These parts [of the omentum] in the flank lie between the 
upper region characterized by the convexity of the stomach and 

55^ the lower which I have not yet discussed. Each of them is con/ 
tinuous with the portion in the flanks. They do not differ 
merely in that one is above, the other beneath, but also in the 
size of the vessels, for the lower part of the omentum has veins 
less in number and size. 

It [i.e. the omentum] springs from the convexity of the 
stomach [ek ton simon tes koilias), whence also it 
derives vessels. Certain remnants of these branch there into the 
stomach and are carried away downwards with it. All these 
parts are continuous with each other and together form a single 
body, the omentum, shaped like a purse, pouch, or bag, hav/ 
ing for its mouth the attachment to the stomach above, while 
below, its body is the remaining part extending downward. 
You will reaUze more clearly that this is so if, after cutting it 
away there without perforating it or tearing any other part, you 
seek to fill it with watery or fatty substance.* For it will be 

<^6o wholly filled with this as long as it remains sound and con/ 
tinuous, like a purse. It is easier to remove it completely from 
the animal, since short attachments to spleen and colon remain 
after it has been quite separated from the first attachment. 
Sometimes, though rarely, it is attached to one or other lobe 
of the liver, or here and there sporadically to a false rib. In 
general it is separate from all the other tissues, except stomach, 
spleen, and colon, to which it is always attached. The nature of 
the omentum and its origin you will learn easily if you dissect 
it as I have described. 

When all the other tissues have been removed from it, try to 
strip off the peritoneum, starting again from the convex part 
of the stomach at the pylorus and the origin of the intestines, 
or again starting from below (where I said it remains isolated 
from the fascia of the transverse [abdominal] muscles) and rising 
* Reading ste art as for the inappropriate stereas. 


towards the pubic bones. There you will see the peritoneum $61 
covers the bladder and uterus. Moving upward over the lower, 
deeper parts (where Hes the mesenterion, also called 
mesaraion),^^° you will trace it over the parts in the lumbar 
region where are the kidneys. You will reach them also if you 
work down from above, for, as I said at first, the peritoneum, 
being one continuity, enwraps all the digestive organs in the 
front parts of the belly (g aster), while at the spine it is both 
firmly fixed below and widely embracing. 

The thickness [of the peritoneum] is not the same on all the 
organs round which it is wrapped. On the liver, as on the 
spleen, it is very thin, but not so on the kidneys. It is at its 
thickest on the stomach, intestines, bladder, and uterus, so that 
some have been misled into thinking it a special part of these 
organs. This is not without reason in organs that are sometimes 
full and distended, since it is then distended along with them, 5^2 
and this, were it thin, would be painful. 

That all these parts are covered by the peritoneum you will 
learn by removing it as described. You will be able to grasp 
how the mesentery is produced from it if you strip off first the 
parts of it round the pylorus and beginning of duodenum 
(ekphysis), then in turn round the empty [jejunum] and 
small intestine, and then that round the large intestine. For 
the peritoneum encircles all these, but, as they contain many 
convolutions, of course, there must be a convex and a concave 
side of the curves. 

The vessels running through the mesentery to each of the 
intestines pass into their concave part and no vessel enters the 
convex part, nor is there any other junction, either with another 
organ or with each other. In these regions it is not surprising 
that all the parts are easily stripped and bared of peritoneum. 
At the concave region it is necessary to tear it away instead of 
stripping it from the vessels.* 

* Here seven lines on the irrelevant subject of blood^'flow, evidently a scribal 

1 60 

Chapter 6 

[The Peritoneum again] 

5^3 When you operate as described you must remove all the intes^ 
tines, but leave in the animal the mesenterion, so called 
from its position, mesaraion from its peculiar substance. 
It is set between the intestines and runs spirally (en kyklo) 
round, all the veins coming down to it from the liver, with 
the arteries and nerves lying beside, [distributed] according 
to each of the intestinal folds. Where the peritoneum extends 
over the vessels and intestines it is single; but where it acts as 

5^4 an intermediary it no longer acts as a mere covering but as a 
twofold ligament. 

You can recognize and demonstrate the peritoneum without 
following the whole sequence of operations that I described, 
after the division of the parts in the abdomen. Cutting evenly 
with a sharp knife the most convex part of an intestinal curve, 
so as to sever the outer membrane or coat (chiton), but keep/ 
ing the inner intact, try to peel it off on both sides of the incu 
sion until you reach the concave part of the curve. Give care 
here and follow both peeled layers which you will find to meet, 
so that they become continuous.* Thus they form a double body 
with the veins that run down into the fold between them. 

5^5 It has been noted that an artery and small nerve He beside 
each other here. Just as the intestine is encircled and guarded 
by the embracing peritoneum, so the triple complex of artery, 
vein, and nerve is surrounded by peritoneum to form a single 
body. There are many such groups, one at each turn [of the 
mesentery], and many spaces between, where the peritoneum is 
therefore simply doubled. The structure of the mesaraion is 
formed therefrom, in substance like the omentum which also 
comprises an artery, vein, and nerve, as one strand. Between 
these strands is nothing but double peritoneum. 

The similarity between omentum and mesenteryf is not 

* Here three displaced irrelevant lines, 
f Text reads PERiTONAiON. 



apparent, because of the quantity of fat with which the omen/ 
turn is laden in the spaces between the vessels. If the animal be 
adipose enough, the fat may so increase as to overrun the vessels, s^^ 
and in such creatures fat is seen also in many parts of the peri/ 
toneum. This is particularly so in animals with small vessels 
and viscera. Fat liquefies with heat, and is preserved by cold. 
It is therefore concentrated round fibrous (neurode) parts 
and in those subjects that are inactive. 

Such then is the nature of the peritoneum and the tissues 
produced therefrom. 

The arteries and veins of the mesentery extend down, like 
roots,^^ into the concavities of the [intestinal] curves, there 
meeting one another. Like roots of trees, these can be traced to 
a single origin. You will easily find the veins gathered into a 
single stem, namely, that by the fissure (p ylai, gates) of the 
liver. The arteries you will not trace so readily, for they are 
more bloodless and thicker coated, and they are in contact with 
a bloodless organ [mesenteric root glands] which they call the 
'mesenteric link' (a rtema mesenteric n) of ligamentous 
nature, by which the mesentery holds the intestines. This 5^7 
extends upward with the arteries lying by it, into that part 
of the spine which lies between diaphragm and kidneys. Here 
is the starting/point of the arteries in the mesentery, sometimes 
in one root immediately dividing, sometimes twofold from 
the start. Such details will be set down with greater precision 
in the anatomy of the vessels. 

Chapter 7 

l^Coats of Stomach and Intestines] 

All the intestines being removed, consider the nature of the 5^7 
stomach, liver, spleen, kidneys, bladder, and in females, 
METRA [uterus]. Learn the nature of the intestines themselves 
by handling each. It is easier to consider these by themselves, 
removing them from the body, for you can then turn them to the 

B 2353 M 



light at will, manipulating them to gain accurate knowledge of 
$68 all their parts. It is well, as they lie before you, to consider the 
[lymphatic] glands in the mesentery, into which you can clearly 
see vessels running up from the intestines. Indeed, after the 
removal of the intestines it is possible to see them with the 
proper vessels in the mesentery. I shall speak of their nature in 
considering the glands. 

In my De usu partium^^ you will find the whole truth as to 
stomach and intestines and other organs that Nature has created 
to deal with food. It is said that there are two coats to the 
stomach (koilia) and to each of the intestines, and one to the 
bladder as to the uterus. (The layers of which they are formed 
they call *coats', but not quite rightly, for *coat' (chiton) 
means a garment or covering. For what some think the second 
coat of the uterus and third of the intestines and stomach 
(koilia) is peritoneum, extended over them, as I have said, 
and really and truly acting as a *coat'.) The stomach is formed 
from two flat and delicate layers, lying one on another like the 
5^9 folds of a garment. The inner has straight fibres, the outer 
circular. The peritoneum has neither but, Hke other membranes, 
its whole structure is quite simple and not even like a spider's 
web nor as though woven. In the intestines most fibres are 
circular, with a few straight fibres lying on them. 

Chapter 8 

[The Liver] 

s6g All these parts [hitherto described] pertain to all red/blooded 
animals and not only to those of the six classes [p. 97]. The 
liver [also] is found in all, and those that have a liver invariably 
have a spleen and bile ducts, but they do not all have a gall 
bladder attached thereto. 

Those who have written on animals that, they say, do not 
have a gall bladder, do not tell the truth. Such is Mnesitheus 
De elephanto, for [that animal] has a gall bladder attached to 



the liver proportionate in size to the whole organ. And 
in animals that have [a gall bladder] it is always in the same 
position, namely, in the largest lobe of the liver. 

The lobes in the liver are not the same in all animals in 570 
number, kind, or appearance, nor indeed is the size of the organ 
the same. In gluttonous and timid creatures the liver is large and 
much divided. It is the reverse in the opposite types. Where 
large it is divided into more and larger lobes than in man. 
Herophilus writes of it most accurately and says: 

In man the liver is of a good size, big in comparison with that in certain 
other animals of equal bulk. Where it is applied to the diaphragm, it is 
arched and smooth. Below toward the [abdominal] cavity and the vena 
cava, it is concave (simon) and irregular. Here it may be likened to 
the fissure through which the vein in embryos enters into it from the 

The liver is not alike in all, but differs in different animals in breadth, 
length, thickness, height and number of lobes, and also in the irregu^ 
larity of the front part at which it is thickest, and the arched top parts 571 
where it is thinnest. In some the liver does not have lobes at all but is 
round and undifferentiated.* In some however it has two, in some more, 
and in many four and in some more lobes. 

Here Herophilus is right. Moreover, in the same Book II of 
his De dissectionihus he said with truth that *not seldom in many 
animals and occasionally in man the liver occupies, to some 
extent, the left parts', specifying only the hare, and leaving us 
to investigate other animals. These I have decided to discuss 
in a forthcoming work. For the present, I say only what is 
useful as commentary on my De usu partium.'f^^ 

Chapter 9 

[The Intestines] 

Everyone knows that the nature of all intestines is the same, the 57^ 
differences being only in size and number of convolutions. The 


f Here ten lines of repetition. 

1 64 


elephant has the broadest intestine, the horse [one] very like it. 
The pig has a much convoluted intestine and the longest, with 
many small differences in the parts. The intestine has the same 
characters in a man as in an ape.^^^ 

The first part continued from the pylorus in such creatures is 
narrov^. After this tract, which is twelve fingers' breadth (d5/ 
dekadaktylon) [duodenum] long, as Herophilus truly 
said, comes what they call the Tasting' (nestis) intestine 
[jejunum] because it is always found devoid of food. It bends 
downwards into a spiral in many folds. Next comes the *slen/ 
der' (lepton) intestine [ileum],^^^ which in substance is the 
573 same as the former, but differs in not being empty and not 
having so many folds. Next is what is called the *blind' 
(typhlon) intestine [caecum], then the kolon, on which 
at the end comes the intestine said to be *made straight' 
(apeuthysmenon) [rectumy^'^ as far as the fundament 

[Fig. 22]. 

Chapter lo 
[The Spleen] 

573 The spleen lies on the left, having its concavity towards the 
right. From the liver there goes to it a vein [splenic], a branch 
of which goes on to the stomach. After sending branches to all 
the parts of the spleen, part of the vein continues to the convex 
part of the stomach and the rest to the left region of the 

These features are common to all the red-blooded animals, 
but not so with either the size of the spleen or its colour. It is 
almost black in the Hon and the dog, and in all spirited and hot 
animals. It is of lighter colour in the pig and in aquatic and 
colder animals. I shall try to describe such differences between 
animals in the course of the argument, so that whoever studies 

574 it may obtain complete knowledge of the works of Nature. 
But now, as proposed at the beginning, I shall consider the rest 
of the digestive organs. 



When the peritoneum is stripped away, so as to reveal its 
relation to all the organs below the diaphragm and the rela/ 
tions that they have with each other, cut up each of them, 
inserting a blade (el asm a) of bronze, iron, silver, or wood. 
Anatomists usually call all such things by the common title of 
blades (elasmata), lancets, flat broad probes, two-edged 
lancets, specilla, oricularia, Sec. You can make others like them 
from hard wood — mine are of box^wood — and such woods 
ensure that the instruments never break. I employ them, as I 
said for inserting into the mouths of the vessels in liver and 
kidneys: into the liver at the *portal vein' (pyle phleps) — 
called stelechiaia by the younger anato mists ^-^^ — and 
farther into the double vein in the convex part [of the liver] mny 
ning up and down; into the kidneys from the large vessels on the 575 
spine; into the ureters, and into other parts, as I shall explain. 

Chapter ii 

[ Vessels of the Liver] 

First I must complete the account of the liver. Into the most 575 
concave part run veins from the mesentery. They call this region 
in which they are all concentrated the pyle [porta] of the 
liver^^^ There, in all red/blooded animals, you will find a large 
mouth of a vein. Have several instruments ready, some nar/ 
rower, some broader, so as to use the most suitable. Push one of 
these into each lobe, pressing it gently forward, and cut down 
on to it with a lancet until you reach the vein in which it is, for 
the instrument is clearly visible under the thin coat. Ana^ 
tomists usually call also the tissues of the viscera *coats', as I 
said before, for the stomach [p. 162]. I said that it had two 
'coats' or layers, one over the other. 

Each vein in the liver has a very delicate coat, Hke that of no 576" 
other vein. When bared, without cutting it, remove the sur/ 
rounding substance of the organ between the vessels. You will 
thus display one large vein entering each lobe. This divides 



into many small veins, like the trunk of a tree into branches. 
These again divide into twigs and end in delicate shoots. 

The space between the vessels is filled with the fleshy sub^ 
stance of the organ. The disciples of Erasistratus call it pare N/ 
This substance — call it flesh or parenchyma — 
like padding in the intervening regions of the dividing vessels 
you can remove with your fingers, leaving bare the vessels that 
cluster in the lobe into which the instrument is inserted. What 
577 you observe in this one lobe, you will find in all. 

If the animal is of considerable size, you can preserve the 
biliary ducts and the arteries belonging to it along with the 
veins, baring them in the liver. If it is small, you cannot do this 
completely. It is thus better to undertake such operations on the 
separated liver in animals wherein the artery and biliary vessel 
are clearly seen beside the portal vein in the liver before removal. 
In small animals they are not visible at all in the separated liver, 
but before removal you can at least see the first division of the 
artery into it, for the artery is whiter than the vein. 

Chapter 12 

[The Bile Ducts] 

577 You cannot follow [the bile duct] right to its end as it divides 
[repeatedly], but if you pay attention to the portal fissure, you 

57^ will see the duct running from the gall bladder to the begins 
ning of the duodenum a little below the p yloros.^^^ In some 
animals you will see that the point where the small intestine 
issues is thickened round the pyloros. Some do not think it 
right to call it 'intestine' until it is curved into spirals. And for 
this reason some call [the first part] simply 'outgrowth' (ek/ 
PHYSis), others add 'duodenal'. Sometimes at the beginning 
of the duodenum (emphysis) the bile duct sends forth a 
branch a litde above the pylorus. And at the same time you 
will see a small duct* going down with the [superior pancreatico/ 
* Reading PORON for MORION. 



duodenal] vein that leads to the viscus [duodenum], running down 
into the membrane, enwrapping and dividing with it deep 

Having examined carefully all these things, proceed to the 
convex part of the liver, cutting up that lobe the veins of which 
you laid bare at the concave part. You will see the veins divide' 
ing progressively in the convexity but not the arteries. Far less 579 
are the biliary ducts here visible.* 

You will see the veins here delicate and devoid of any mem/ 
branous covering, like all those in the mesentery which some 
think have two coats. Every vein has fibres twining round it in 
diverse ways and a single coat, which is always peculiar to it, 
except where it chances to rise high and unsupported and needs 
membranes as coverings and supports. 

I shall deal with the coats of the arteries in discussing the 
anatomy of the heart in Book VII. 

Chapter 13 

[Kidneys and Ureters] 

Pass now to the kidneys. The right lies higher in all animals, 579 
sometimes touching the large lobe of the liver. At the spine it 
is attached to the [renal] artery and vein. These vessels are of 580 
considerable size and in apes are single on each side, but in 
certain other animals, as I shall explain later, are double. The 
kidneys have their concave parts facing each other, and the con/ 
vex turned toward the side of the animal. In smaller animals 
you can introduce the probe as far as the concave part but not 
into the cavity itself In very large animals, however, if you 
insert it immediately after death, you will see it clearly penetrat/ 
ing into the hollow of the kidney. You will see plainly each 
vessel at the EMPHYSis (hilum) divide into several branches. 

Observe the hollow of the kidney. In a small animal it is 
overlaid by a membranous body [pelvis of ureter]. At one part, 

* Here four lines on the spelling ofcHOLEDOCHOS which we omit. 



near the entry (emphysis) of the vessels, there is attached to 
it a hollow and elongated body [ureter] which some call by 
the general appellation common to such bodies, Vessel' 

S8i (a N G E I o n), some *duct' (p o R o s), and some 'artery' or Vein . 
But follow Plato^"^^ and me in taking litde account of names and 
seeking first and foremost facts and next clarity in exposition. 

The orifice of this duct [ureter] is perceptible unless the 
animal be too small. And you can insert into it, in two ways, 
a delicate instrument among those prepared — two-edged lan^ 
cet or double specillum, call it what you will or, if you need 
something finer, a probe. [You can insert it] from the hollow 
of the kidney when you open it, into the duct, or again from 
the duct via the orifice into the kidney. This duct is called 
OURETER. It has a single coat of its own and, like all other 
organs that run there, it is covered by peritoneum as well. 
Some anatomists have discussed vainly whether this ureter 
should be called *artery' or Vein'. It has a single coat like the 
veins, yet not so thin a one as they. 

^82 If you strip off the outer membrane [peritoneum] from the 
ureter and lay it open to the bladder, you will find it of like 
substance to the bladder when the covering has been removed. 
You will also see the nature of the passage which runs obliquely 
[into the bladder], having a covering in the inside part com/ 
parable to the lid (skyphon) of a dove/cote [ureteric value]. 
This covering is not something different from the substance of 
the bladder but a part of it, and so clearly fitted to its form that 
it is opened only by what passes through the duct [into the 

When you bare the ureters of the peritoneum you will see that 
the [testicular] arteries and veins are both carried obliquely up 
to the perforations of the peritoneum. They start from below 
where the peritoneum covers the large vessels [common iliac]. 
They pass towards the testicles, leaving the rectum at the loins, 
5^5 advance and rise to the groin, the peritoneum extending with 
them, covering and accompanying them as far as where the 
peritoneum is perforated on either side. For the offshoot that 



goes forward with its vessels is long, and the large sac of the 
peritoneum is pierced there. The duct descending to the testicle 
is a small offshoot of the great peritoneal sac in the lower ab^ 
domen [processus vaginalis]. That, however, which envelops the 
arteries and veins to the testicles does not issue from the great 
peritoneal sac besides the loins, but surrounds, as I have said, 
the vessels that nourish the testicles, and runs down with them 
through the duct. So the peritoneal offshoot becomes double 
there — one part of it forming the duct, just as if no vessel were 
to go through it, the other enveloping the vessels supplying the 
testicles, as if they did not come through the duct. I have 
described these vessels because of their association with the peri^ 
toneum, though they do not belong to the present discussion. 5^4 

Chapter 14 

[Muscles which retain or expel Excrement] 

It remains to describe the third class of digestive organs that 5^4 
are muscular and in the region of the abdomen, and that not 
only eliminate superfluities but also have power to produce 
efflations and sounds. There are others; at the fundament for 
binding and closing the end of the passage, drawing it in again 
when prolapsed during evacuation; and at the bladder for 
closing only. 

When first anatomizing the animals it is preferable to start at 
once on the muscles in the abdomen, if you intend to dissect 
them in situ. You cannot see plainly those round the fundament 
unless you first remove the intestines and separate the pubic 
bones. It is now time for me to explain and for you to learn how 
to do this. 

Since the pubic bones are united by a cartilage anteriorly, 
seek the exact line of junction. If you cut along that with a 5^5 
large strong lancet, you will easily part them. When separated 
you will easily remove the skin lying at their base, without 
cutting through the fundament. Next, seizing each of the iliac 


bones, bend it backward and outward, until they too are 
loosened from their junction with the broad bone called the 
sacrum (hieron ostoun).^^^ Thus you display all the 
parts of the region between the sacrum and the pubic bones. 

This procedure is the same for all the organs there. For if you 
would examine either arteries, veins, nerves, bladder, uterus, or 
muscles to the great trochanter, you must equally first separate 
the pubic bones and bend back the two iHa, parting the liga/ 
ments uniting them with the sacrum. 
But we must get back to business. You will see overlying 

s86 each of the pubic bones from the inside a sheet of flesh [w. 
puhocaudalis] concealed by a membranous ligament springing 
in a circle from the bones themselves. The part of it [that 
corresponds to the coccygeus in man] that is continuous with 
the region by the sacrum has a ligament growing out of the 
bone which is continuous with the aforementioned ligament. 
Thus the whole ligament, in part issuing from the sacrum and 
in part at the groin, ends as one, turning into the head of a 
muscle that is not thick but completely membranous and flat, 
reaching the fundament at each side. If you preserve it carefully, 
you will learn its function from its position [levator ani]. 

Separate the muscle and the rectum from the surrounding tis^ 
sues, then lay hold of the head [of the muscle] and pull the 
rectum by it. You will see how it is drawn up. It has no oppose 
ing muscle to draw it down, as have most of the parts. The anus 
is actually pressed down by the muscles of the lower belly 
which, with the diaphragm, compress the intestine and its 

387 contents. It is often so extruded that it is not easily withdrawn 
by the two muscles [puhocaudales] mentioned before. So, when 
the animal is relieving itself, the eight muscles of the abdominal 
wall with the diaphragm all contract together when the circular 
muscle around the anus is relaxed. But at all other times this 
circular muscle is contracted and closes the anus. 

You will easily see this muscle [sphincter] if you first cut away 
the whole skin in this region; and also [you will see] the junc^ 
tion of the coccyx^^i the membranous tissues [anococcygeal 


body] which unite with the skin extending from the anus outside 
the circular muscle, Posteriorly this muscle h^s lying under it 
the end of the coccyx. Anteriorly it is fastened to the penis by 
another muscle [hulhocavernosus] which you will investigate later 
in dissecting the genital organs. 

Now that you have exposed the muscle at the end of the 5^^ 
bladder, at the so/called neck, you will see clearly that, both in 
function and action it resembles the circular muscle round the 
anus. It, too, closes the orifice before which it is set; hence some 
call it, as they do the other, a sphinkter.^^z 

There remain the eight muscles occupying the whole region 
below the diaphragm designed by Nature rather more for the 
digestive organs than the respiratory. Of them I need speak no 
more, as they were described earlier in Book V in the dissection 
of the outer parts [pp. 133-40]. 


[Heartj LungSj and Arteries] 

Chapter i 

[Organs of Respiration] 

s8p My task in this book is to explain how to dissect the respiratory 
organs. I need not repeat the considerations of detail in my pre^ 
ceding book on the digestive organs which apply to these 
too, but every reader must remember them. 

The most important organs for breathing are the lungs, heart, 

5^0 and thorax. Next after these are two kinds of arteries. One kind 
is distributed from the left ventricle of the heart throughout the 
body. These beat with the same rhythm as the heart. They all 
spring, as branches from a trunk, from the greatest artery 
Some call it by that very name ^greatest' (megiste), 
others simply *the great' (me gale), others *the thick' 
(pacheia), and others *the straight' (orthe). The second 
kind of artery is that which they call *the rough' (tracheia). 
This is a very large one in the neck [trachea] and has many 
offshoots [bronchi] throughout the lungs. At the upper end of 
this large neck artery lies a sort of head called the larynx. 
This is named by more modern anatomists *the head of the 
bronchus', because the trachea is not only *rough' but also 
connected with the bronchi. 

It was according to basic reason (kata pr5ton logon) 
that Nature created all these parts — some to fulfil essential needs 
of life itself, others as serviceable but not essential for the life of 
creatures. These have been detailed in my De usu partium,^^ 
Books VI and VII. 


Chapter 2 

[The Pleura] 

In addition to these [organs] Nature created another structure 5^1 
of the same substance as the peritoneum and performing like 
functions for the organs of the pneuma as does the peritoneum 
for the organs of assimilation. And as that is called the 
'embracer* (peritonaion), for it is extended round (peri/ 
TEXAS thai) the digestive organs, so this is called the *under/ 
girder' (hypezokos) [pleuraly^^"^ since it undergirds the 
inside of the ribs. Like the peritoneum it has two other design- 
nations, being called 'membrane' (hymen) by some and *coat' 
(chiton) by others, membrane from its substance, coat from 
its function. It is woven finely as a spider's web and is 'homoi/ 
omerous'^^ throughout. While lining the ribs it covers all the 
'pneumatic' [i.e. respiratory] organs. So also the peritoneum is 
a membranous coat, as is the delicate meninx [pia mater] to 
the brain, the periosteum to the bones, and those peculiar 
membranes* covering the heart [pericardium]. 

In many parts there are other membranous tissues. Some 5^2 
spring from the bones as ligaments, others from the attach^' 
ments of the muscles as tendons. But this undergirding mem^ 
brane [pleura] lines and clothes all the organs within the 
thorax, as does the peritoneum the organs below the dia^ 
phragm. From it are also produced the membranes that 
partition the thorax, and in this way only does it differ from the 
peritoneum, in being double, not single. 

You will grasp the nature of the pleura exactly if you split 
at the mid^line the anterior bone of the thorax, which anatomists 
call STERNON, using specially strong sharp knives. Begin the 
operation by removing the tissues over the sternum, for when 
that is bared you can estimate the midline more accurately. Pay 
attention to this and divide the sternum right to the xiphoid 
cartilage; then work deeply toward the spine, separating the 593 

* Text says 'muscles*. 



membranes. This is made easier by gently drawing asunder 
and bending back the two halves of the sternum. 

As you do this the parts readily follow, but less so those about 
the heart. The pericardial 'membrane' or *coat* round the 
heart — for this can be given either name, membrane from its 
substance and coat from its function — is fastened to the sternum, 
especially at its apical and adjacent parts [sternopericardial liga^ 
ment\. You encounter this as you sever the sternum and later 
when you are separating the membranes that partition the 
thorax as a whole. 

It is best to keep the pericardium entire and unimpaired 
(though even if it be damaged the anatomical objective will 
not necessarily be frustrated), for if the heart be not seen the open 

594 spaces in the thorax will also remain undamaged. Indeed, we 
often intentionally lay bare the heart without damaging any of 
the thoracic spaces, while the animal is still livng. Later I shall 
speak of that operation. 

Returning to our procedure — let us restate that any damage to 
the pericardium is to be avoided, but that, if damaged, at least 
the membranes that partition the thorax should remain unhurt; 
it is their preservation that is our aim. You will see each of these 
membranes continuous with itself, right and left of the thorax, 
lining the inner aspect of the ribs and the parts above the 
diaphragm and extending also over the lungs, as we saw the 
peritoneum covered all the parts below the diaphragm. Further, 
this membrane surrounds the higher vessels as the peritoneum 
[does the lower] and, like it, covers those by the spine and 
the great artery and the accompanying vein \yena 

azygos] which nourishes the upper parts of the thorax and also 

595 the opening of the stomach. Extending upward from there to 
the sternum the membrane remains double. 


Chapter 3 

[Views on the Pericardium] 

The coat proper of the heart, called perikardion, differs 595 
from either of the others [i.e. from the pleurae]. It lies between 
them and is enclosed by them on either side. You will see this 
well in the dissection we are discussing, which is done on the 
dead animal. Above, extending to the clavicles, you will see 
the partitioning membranes [pleurae] in mutual contact. [Below] 
at the base of the heart (which some call its *head') they sur^- 
round the pericardium, embracing it, and each may be followed 
to its apex which is conical like that of the heart. The circular 
base [of the pericardium] surrounds the base of the heart like 
a crown, while the apex of its cone is in contact with the apex 
of the heart and united with the lower part of the sternum, at 
the end of which lies the xiphoid cartilage. 

This [outer] layer of pericardium is not united with the body 59^ 
of the heart, for there is throughout an appreciable interval 
[pericardial cavity] to allow for the movement of the heart. It is 
only at its circular base that it is united with the vessels springs 
ing from the heart. Of these you will learn more when you 
expose the whole [interior of the] thorax or remove the heart 
for separate dissection. 

Chapter 4 

[ Views on the Functions of the Lungs] 

That my account may be lucid, I shall now explain the names 59^ 
which we have to employ. As all designate the pulsating organ 
KARDiA [heart], so they call each pulsating vessel arteria. 

It is easy to discern the arteries throughout the body by their 
pulsation and by their continuity with the great artery. But it 
is impossible to discern by the senses the pulsation of those 
in the lungs [i.e., branches of the Venous artery', pulmonary 
vein]. In spite of this one might guess at [their nature] from their 



S91 continuity with the left ventricle (koilia) of the heart. ^^3 
Nevertheless, some think they have not only a suspicion, or a 
well-founded expectation, but exact knowledge of their activity. 
The two schools claim knowledge in different ways, arising 
from different opinions. 

The one school, following Erasistratus,^'^'^ assumes that the 
arteries in the lungs [pulmonary veins] are empty of blood like 
the other arteries. ^"^^ They hold that at each diastole of the heart 
the PNEUMA is drawn through them out of the lungs [into the 
left ventricle] and by its passage the pulse is produced in 
all the arteries throughout the body. They are persuaded that 
the pulse is not produced in these [arteries] by their own 
action, as is that of the heart, but by their being filled with 
the PNEUMA passing through them. They say, too, that 
the heart, when it contracts, sends forth the pneuma to the 

The other school thinks that the other arteries [in the body] 
as well as those in the lungs [i.e. branches of the Venous 
artery', pulmonary vein] contract and dilate by the same power 
as the heart. They say that the difference is that the power 
Sg8 belongs by nature to the heart and is infused into the arteries 
from it. 

According to the first school, if, on a living animal, you cut 
through all ribs on both sides and examine the lung [you will 
find that] so long as the rough arteries [i.e. bronchial tree] con/ 
vey PNEUMA to the smooth arteries [pulmonary veins] that 
come from the heart, you will find a kind of pulse in them, but 
when they [i.e. the rough arteries] are empty there will be none. 

According to the second school, while the animal lives not 
only do the arteries in the moving part of the lungs go on pulsate 
ing but also those in the exposed part. 

As for the received opinions of the experts, I have explained 
what consequences follow. But since in this work I am not 
concerned with passing judgement on opinions, but with the 
phenomena revealed by dissection, I shall try to guide you to 
the facts. Therefore make a straight incision in a downward 



direction along the length of the animal where the ribs are 
cartilaginous. With a single stroke of a large scalpel you can 
sever all the ribs below the first. Spare that rib for fear of the 599 
haemorrhage that might follow your wounding the vessels 
under it. If you have succeeded so far, strip off the membrane 
[i.e. visceral layer of pleura] from the lungs as fast as possible. 
Then with your fingers remove the fiesh between the [pulmo/ 
nary] vessels and lay them bare. Try to see and feel if any of the 
vessels in the lungs has a pulse. Anything you find with a pulse 
you may regard as an artery. But unless its movement be clearly 
distinguished you should not call a vessel an artery, whether it 
spring from the left ventricle or the right, whatever some of the 
anatomists may say. They differ from one another over this 
terminology, for some declare that the vessel springing from the 
left ventricle is an artery or vein, others that springing from the 
right. A better course is theirs who refuse to call either of these 
'artery' or Vein' simply, but modify this hasty ascription by 
calling them 'arterial vein' or Venous artery'. In fact four names 
have been given to two vessels by anatomical experts. ^00 

I follow what I take to be the better view of those who call 
the vessel springing from the left ventricle of the heart Venous 
artery' [pulmonary veiny and that springing from the right ven/ 
tricle 'arterial vein' [pulmonary artery]. I think it preferable (since 
we cannot distinguish them clearly by the pulse) to call the vessel 
containing p neum A an 'artery' but, since it has the covering of 
a vein, to add 'venous.' So to the other I give the name of 'vein' 
from its function, but since its substance is that of an artery, I 
add 'arterial'. 

It would be best, as I said, to distinguish these vessels by the 
presence or absence of a pulse. But as that is not clearly dis/ 
cernible by the senses, their names should be given from their 
communication with the two ventricles, with a qualification 
from their substance. Those who name them without adding a 
qualification pay attention to their substance only, or to their 
function only. By substance, the vessel springing from the right 601 
ventricle of the heart is an artery, that from the left a vein. 

B 2353 N 



Conversely, by function, that from the left is an artery, that from 
the right a vein. 

Chapter 5 

[Coats of Veins and Arteries] 

It is now time to detail of what substance the vessels are made. 

601 The veins throughout the body have come into being each 
with a single intrinsic coat, for the membrane that sometimes 
surrounds them is in contact with them only where they need 
to be bound to certain tissues or fixed firmly and protected. The 
arteries have two intrinsic coats, the outer [tunica adventitial like 
that of the vein, the inner [tunica media] about five times as 
thick and harder. It consists of transverse fibres. The outer coat, 
like that of the veins, has longitudinal fibres, some slightly 
oblique, but none transverse. The inner, thick, hard tunic of the 
arteries has a woven sort of membrane on its inner surface, 
which can be seen in the large vessels. Some regard it as a 

602 third coat [tunica intima]. There is no fourth intrinsic coat but, 
like certain of the veins, some arteries have attached to and round 
them in places a delicate membrane which guards or fixes them 
firmly or binds them to the neighbouring parts. The peritoneum 
does this to the arteries and veins, specially below the dia^ 
phragm, as does the membrane [pleura] in the region above 
which underlies the ribs within the thorax, as was told above 
[pp. 160 and 174]. 

What the arteries are throughout the body, such is that vessel 
from the right ventricle of the heart which branches throughout 
the lungs [pulmonary artery]. And what the veins are, such is 
the vessel from the left ventricle [pulmonary vein]."^"^^ 

Thus of the three vessels Hnked with the lungs, the one from 
the left ventricle is called Venous artery', that from the right, 
*arterial vein', and the third is the 'rough artery' [trachea]. The 
last is made of cartilages shaped like the letter sigma.^"^^ The 
round cartilages in this large artery are set in the anterior parts, 
associating in the neck with the gullet, and in the lungs with 


the 'arterial vein' [pulmonary artery]. [This trachea] is like a 603 
tree/trunk in relation to the 'arteries' [bronchi] in the lungs, and 
in those 'arteries' that branch from it. 

The parts between the vessels in the lungs are filled up by 
the peculiar substance which disciples of Erasistratus call 
PARENCHYMA.^^^ You can remove [the lungs] from the 
thorax and dissect them like the heart itself, but it is not possible 
to realize their association with the membranes if once so 

Chapter 6 

[The Great Vessels] 

To gain accurate knowledge of the membrane round the heart, 603 
excise the sternum thus: Force up and bend back the end of the 
xiphoid cartilage with fingers or hook, then sever all the parts 604 
attached to it. When you reach the end of the sternum treat it 
similarly, cutting freely on either side. Remove the pericardium 
gently from the subjacent tissues. In doing this, work upwards 
until you meet with the lower end of the gland called T h Y M o s ^^7 
and, going yet higher, till you come upon the [great] vessels. 

If the animal has been some time dead, and you cut one of 
the vessels, little blood will flow, especially if it has had its 
throat cut. If fresly killed or full-blooded, some blood will flow 
from the severed vessels at the root of the pericardium. 

Having sponged this out, you can examine the matter with 
which we are now concerned. This is best done without blood 
being shed, for you will see the other parts more clearly, and 
particularly the root of the pericardium which is not attached 
to the heart itself but to the vessels arising from it. Of these that 
on the left is the great artery [^7()/'^a], that on the right the vein 60$ 
[inferior vena cava] arising from the liver, and two others, one 
of which I called 'venous artery' [pulmonary vein], the other 
'arterial vein' [pulmonary artery]. You will see these clearly even 
before you bare the heart of its covering, and still more clearly 
* Here three lines of repetition. 


when you lay it bare. Thus too you will see the arrangement of 
the bones which is visible when the heart is still in place, but 
even more plainly when the heart is removed. 

Chapter 7 

[The Heart] 

60s In this operation you observe further that the heart is set between 
the two spaces of the thorax. Its movements reveal that it lies 
rather toward the left, and that for a double reason. Firstly, 
because the cavity for the pneuma (pneumatike koilia) 
\lejt ventricle] is there. ^"^^ Secondly, because the whole organ is 

606 thus inclined, for though the base is in the middle, the apex 
is not.* 

All this is much clearer if you remove the cartilaginous ribs 
[costal cartilages] with the sternum. For this use a strong large 
lancet, so that by a single stroke you may cut through all of them 
in turn, aiming at severing each where the bone ends and the 
cartilage begins. But first take note of the position of the ribs 
in another animal, for a correct description of it in words is 
very difficult. 

How one can best operate, guided by what is said, I shall 
now explain. Each of the ribs runs slantwise, downward and 
forward, starting at the spine, where it is doubly articulated 
with each of the [corresponding] vertebrae. When moving 

607 aslant along the convex outer surface, having traversed its 
extreme curvature, it makes a bend thence, ceasing also to run 
downwards, and now turns upwards obliquely towards the 
sternum. Here it changes its nature, becoming cartilage instead 
of bone, and can be cut easily with a sharp, strong lancet. 
Such there are in the kephalika [instrument cases] called 
DELTOi by the ancients. ^"^^ Veterinary surgeons also have such 
lancets. You should have instruments like these handy for 
cutting the cartilages, as you see in my own equipment. 

* Here two lines of repetition. 



Now cut the thorax as I have said, and each of the other parts 
as I have described for the pubes [pp. 167-70] and shall describe 
again in the next book. Cut straight down on either side and 
remove from the thorax the part as defined by the cuts that I 
mentioned a litde earlier [pp. 173-4], teUing you to begin from 608 
the ensiform cartilage. The position of all the parts within the 
thorax will, of course, be much clearer if the animal be dead. 
After excision of the sternum together with the costal carti/ 
lages, bend back forcibly the parts of the ribs connected with 
the vertebrae. You have seen me doing this with such violence 
that often some of the bones were broken or the ligaments 
attaching them to the spine were torn. 

If you do so, you will be able to see clearly all the parts in the 
thorax, and still more if the diaphragm be cut from the ribs, 
and even better if you separate two ribs one from another, cut/ 
ting all the flesh between them. This will be necessary for you, 
in any case, when you dissect the parts of the thorax itself 
But for the parts round the heart we are discussing there is no 
need yet of such an incision. It suffices to remove the sternum 
and the adjoining parts of the ribs. These are cartilaginous 
and have a direction opposite to that of the bony parts. The 
former descend obliquely from the spine to the front and lower 60^ 
parts, while the latter, starting in the manner I described, run 
obliquely to the breast/bone. 

Chapter 8 

[Substance and Motion of the Heart] 

You will [now] see the hollow vein [superior vena cava\ extend^ -^og 
ing straight to the neck, and the appendages of the heart called 
*ears' (ota) [auricles]}^^ These latter are of a kind found no^ 
where else, though [their nature is] like that of the heart itself 
Some of the so-called 'homoiomerous'^^ parts resemble other 
parts but have some slighdy different substance, each having its 
own peculiarity which can be roughly, though not exacdy. 



described in words, since what is clearly distinguished only by 
sight or touch cannot be so communicated. But it is possible 
to help the reader to a more accurate observation by saying that 
the heart is composed of fibrous strands, varying in position, a 
single fold of flesh enveloping each of them, for in this it re^' 

610 sembles all the muscles as well as the stomach, intestines, 
bladder, and uterus, but still the fibres do not have equal 
strength and thickness in all these. Nor has the flesh the same 
appearance, for that in the muscles is redder and softer than 
that in the stomach, uterus, bladder, and intestines, while that 
in the heart is firmer and has more varied fibres. 

The muscles have uniform fibres, but not so the heart nor the 
proper coat of uterus or bladder. A careless glance will sug/ 
gest that the muscle substance and the heart substance are alike 
(as are those of nerves, ligaments, and tendons), but the dif/' 
ference in these simple and primary bodies has been already 
discussed elsewhere [p. 58], and will be again as needed. Never/ 
theless, that the substance of the heart differs in many respects 
from that of a muscle, has been well enough demonstrated, and 
its activity also testifies to this. For the movement of the heart is 
involuntary and ceaseless, so long as the animal survives, while 
that of the muscles is often suspended, and springs to activity 

611 in obedience to the animal's impulses. 

All philosophers and physicians who are experts in natural 
science (deinoi peri physin) agree that activities accord 
with the peculiarities of the substance. Therefore all parts of the 
same substance are active in the same way, even in animals that 
diverge in other characters, while in the same animals parts of 
different character have different activities. Thus every heart has 
the same activity, and so, too, every thorax and every pair of 
lungs, but the kidneys, bladder, liver, and stomach do not have 
the same [activity] as any of these or of each other. So the muscles 
do not have the same activity as the heart, for they do not have 
the same nature. 

If heart and muscle be cooked together and eaten, differences 
in their taste will be found, just as with spleen, kidneys, lungs, 


liver, tongue, or any other organ. All differ in taste, touch, 612 
appearance, hardness, softness, density, and colour. 

Those who maintain that the heart has not the same activity 
as the muscles because it has no motor nerves but, as they think, 
only sensory, make several mistakes at once. Firstly, they ignore 
the nature of the heart. For it is harder than any muscle, and 
plainly differs in the variety of its fibres, as also in colour and 
still more so in taste, a most important indication of a difference 
of nature. I think they can never have eaten a cooked heart or 
they would surely have known how much it differs from flesh, 
unless, of course, they do not even know that all kinds of flesh 
are kinds of muscle. So far they are blundering where they 
could have learnt by the senses. 

Moreover, they err as to the nature of the nerves. They think 
that the brain is like them in all its parts, except that some are 
more, and some less, soft. Through some nerves [the brain] 
transmits the power of sensation to the parts below, through 613 
others, voluntary movement. It is intelligible that all the nerves 
should have both these powers, but the soft are more suited for 
sensation, the hard for movement. Some of the strands from the 
same root divide into branches, some of which can be followed 
into muscles, others into other parts. This happens with the 
third cranial pair [trigeminal] and the sixth [IX+X+XI]. 
From the latter the heart receives a strand, for from it [^^^t^w^] 
not only heart and lungs, liver, stomach, mesentery, and intes/ 
tines, but also all the muscles of the larynx and certain others 
receive branches.^^^ 

Those who say that the heart is a [mere] muscle, notice 
nothing, not even that, had it lacked motor strands, as they 
think it does, it could neither move by volition, nor receive 
its pulsatory activity which must presumably have some cause. 
This, they must claim, is either a gift from the nerves or is in/ 
herent by nature in the organ. Now it does not come from the 614 
nerves, for all the organs that receive nerves would have 
shared in it and when they were severed the heart would not 
continue beating. But we see neither of these things happen. 


Therefore the power of pulsation has its origin in the heart 

itself It would not have arisen if the organ had had the same 

nature as the muscles throughout the whole animal. But the fact 

that the heart, removed from the thorax, can be seen to move for 

a considerable time is a definite indication that it does not need 

the nerves to perform its own function. Those who think the 

heart a muscle seem ignorant of these things and to have failed 

to notice that pulsation is of its essence, by the high virtue of 

some special element in its nature. 

Their error then is great who think the heart a muscle, but 

theirs less who assume the oesophagus (s to machos)* to 

be of exactly the same substance as the muscles, for its outer 

layer (chiton) is indeed interwoven with transverse fibres, 

and yet not even this is exactly a muscle. For if the heart re/ 

61^ ceived its pulsatory activity from the nerves, the gullet would 

necessarily have had the same movement [being supplied by the 

same nerves]. As things are, it visibly contracts when animals 

swallow or regurgitate food in the same way as the stomach and 

intestines, which contract round their contents but have no 

pulsatory movement. 

Such then is their great error in failing to comprehend the 

action and power of muscles and heart. On the other hand I 

have shown in my memoranda De Hippocratis et Platonis placu 

tis that the heart is the seat of passion and source of *innate 

Chapter 9 

[ Vessels and Valves of the Heart] 

61s Now let us proceed to the particular parts that are the subject 
of this work, beginning from the 'auricles' of the heart. They 
are thus called from their resemblance to ears, for they grow on 
either side of the heart as ears on the head. They appear more 
like to sinew or skin than to the heart itself, in so far as they 

616 can be described in words; but it is better to trust to visual and 
* *Of the heart' is here inserted in text. 


tactile impressions by which alone the hue and structure of a 
body can be distinguished. Of dark colour and like mem^ 
branous outgrowths they are intended to provide cavities ad^ 
joining the heart; wherefore Nature has made them hollow as 
providing a cavity, and membranous to subserve the move^' 
ments of the heart. See what I have said of them in my De 
usu partium.^^ 

There are two 'auricles', one by each of the vessels that brings 
in material — on the right, at the entry (emphysis) of the 
vein [superior vena cava] into the cavity of the heart; on the left, 
at that of the Venous artery* [pulmonary vein]. When you lay 
open the 'auricles' the substance (soma) of the heart will be 
visible, and each of the above-named orifices and then the 
valves (hymenes) attached below the entries (emphyseis), 
three to the right cavity [tricuspid valve], two to the left [mitral 

[A passage describing the two ventricles and the origins of 
the aorta and pulmonary artery from them has dropped from 
the text here.] 

The form [of the cusps] when they are in contact is like 61 j 
arrowheads (glochines), wherefore some anatomists call 


These matters you can observe in the heart removed from the 
thorax, as you can also the other two orifices of the vessels which 
convey material from the heart, namely the orifice of the right 
ventricle to the lung [i.e. the Venous artery', our pulmonary vein] 
and that of the aorta, leading from the left ventricle, to the 
body as a whole. In these [note] again on each side three 
membranes in the form of the letter C [Greek capital sigma] 
opening out of the heart as the tricuspid opens into it.^^^ 

Before removing the heart from the animal, observe all the 
offshoots from the vena cava. Of them I shall speak again in 
the anatomy of the vessels. [Observe] the large gland called 
THYMOS,^'^'^ and the attachment of the coat of the heart. 
Observe too how a vein [^?2:j/^oi"] comes to the spine from the 
hollow cavity on the right, mounting on the fifth dorsal vertebra, 



and how this vein always reaches this region in all those animals 
618 on which you were advised to gain anatomical experience. But 
it does not [arise] from the right auricle in all animals, but in 
some where the vena cava passes through the auricle it is carried 
up to the neck. Among such are the apes.^^"^ 

Chapter 10 

[The Coronary Arteries and the Heart^bone] 

618 The veins that nourish the heart spring in all animals from its 
cavity. People speak of them as *enwreathing' the heart, since 
two of them do so surround it, just as two arteries (which arise 
from the aorta in its first part, immediately after it leaves the 
[semilunar] valves) come down from the left part into the sub/ 
stance of the heart [coronary arteries]. They are best examined in 
the detached heart, especially in a large animal, but they are the 
same in all and do not differ according to size, as Aristotle 
[wrongly] thinks. It is, however, easier to see them clearly in 
large hearts. 

The bone in the heart, which people think is present only 
in large animals and not in all of them, is there in others too, 
yet sometimes not quite as a bone but rather as a cartilage. 
6ig In general, the matter stands as follows in all animals. The 
[semilunar] valves, which I said are called triglochines 
[p. 185], and the root [aorta] of the arterial vessels are fastened 
to a substance which is always hard, but not equally hard in all 
animals. In smaller animals it is slighdy cartilaginous, in larger 
it is true cartilage, and in yet larger it is a bony cartilage 
[os cordis]. In the degree that the kind of animal is larger, so is 
the cartilage more bony. In the largest, where the greater part is 
bony, it is rightly called 'cartilaginous bone' rather than *bony 
cartilage*, for what is produced in these animals is rather sinewy 
cartilage [fibro^cartilage] than true [hyaline] cartilage. It is 
thus not surprising that in small animals it is overlooked by those 
without experience in dissection, when it often escapes notice 
even in the larger. 


Larger, do I say 5 Why, an elephant of the largest size was 
lately killed in Rome. Many physicians crowded to see it dis/ 
sected and to learn whether the heart has two apexes or one, and 620 
two cavities or three. Before it was dissected, I maintained that 
the same structure of the heart would be found in it as in all the 
animals that breathe air. This was apparent when the heart was 
opened. Moreover, I and my pupils easily found the bone in it, 
by fingering it. But our inexpert [colleagues], expecting in a large 
animal a like finding to that in others, concluded that the heart 
contains no bone, even in an elephant. I was going to demon/ 
strate it when my companions, laughing at seeing them unable 
to perceive it from their ignorance of its position, asked me to 
forbear. However, when the heart was removed by Caesar's 
cooks, I sent one of my colleagues, experienced in such things, 
to beg the cooks to allow him to extract the bone from it. This 
was done and I have it to this day. It is of considerable size so 
that those who see it can hardly believe that it could escape 
observation by physicians. 

Thus even very large structures in animals may escape notice 621 
by the inexperienced. What wonder that Aristode, among his 
many anatomical errors, thinks that the heart in large animals 
has three cavities I It is not surprising that, lacking anatomical 
experience, he failed to find the parts, and he deserves to be for/ 
given. For where those who have given their whole life to 
this study, as Marinus,^^ have made many mistakes, what are we 
to think happens to those who approach it without preparation, 
but deterred by a first failure abandon further attempt ? 

I call all gods to witness that I have often, on further exarfiina/ 
tion, seen things I had completely missed before. Among them 
is the bone in the heart, for I learned from my teachers neither its 
position nor whether it be present in all animals. And yet I 
tried to find it, cutting up the organ small, as this seemed the 
surest way. But when I found attached to it the roots of the 622 
valves and the origins of the arterial vessels, I concluded that 
Nature the Artificer must have made this her aim in all animals. 
Later I became convinced of this by actual experience by 



following the attachments of the said parts. From yet further 
experience I learned easily to find it in a moment in any animal 
for dissection, and now many of our group (hetairoi) can 
find the bone very quickly. 

Anyone who had not seen us do so, but had learned of it 
before proceeding to the operation, will easily find it when he 
has laid bare the left cavity [ventricle] and opened the length of 
the aorta. Let him follow carefully the root of the aorta and 
the membranes, for this root and that of the 'arterial vein' [puU 
monary artery], and also of the valves in them, adjoin the bone 
of the heart. 

623 All these, then, can be examined in a heart removed from 
the animal, and, in addition, the pits that plunge deep into [the 
walls in] each ventricle. If you make a careful dissection on a 
freshly billed animal, you will find them exactly. You can 
observe the [coronary] vessels that wreathe the heart in a manifold 
series of branches passing over the surface in various ways, all I 
from the junction of the cavities. 

Chapter 11 

[ Ventricles and Orifices of the Heart] 

623 You will see, if you lay bare the whole heart, the left ventricle 
extending to the very apex, and the right ending much below 
it, and often with an outline of its own. This [double apex] 
is seen in large animals like horses and oxen and camels, and 
still more in elephants, but sometimes even in small ones. 
Thus a man who was sacrificing a cock to the gods found a 
heart with two apexes. Thinking this a portent, he consulted 
the experts. By chance he met me and said that he had found 

624 two hearts in one animal. There were not two, as he thought, 
but the apex of the right ventricle had an outline of its own. 
Grasp this, then, thoroughly: that were an animal larger than 
an elephant or smaller than a lark, the structure of the heart 
would be similar, nay yet rather in appearance the same. 


What sort of heart a fish has and in general all the animals 
that live under water will be explained later. Meanwhile let us 
examine the matter, for animals that breathe air. Of all these 
you will see similar structure in the heart and lungs, as is ex/ 
plained above. (There is still one thing remaining, both with 
regard to the latter viscera and the heart, which will be dealt 
with in the anatomy of the nerves. It will also be explained that 
the auricles of the heart are outside its cavities.) 

If anyone were so to regard the auricles^^^ as parts of the heart 
increasing the number of the cardiac orifices, as did Hero/ 
philus, he would differ from Erasistratus and me. For we have 625 
declared that for the four vessels of the heart there are in all only 
four orifices. From Book I of my memoir De dissentione amtoy 
mica^^ he will learn to judge the disagreement among experts as 
to the appearances of these four and of their opinions about them. 

The orifice of the Venous artery* [pulmonary vein] at the left 
ventricle (koilia) is single and on it are the valves opening 
inwards [mitral]. Yet it [i.e. the vessel] hardly remains one, 
but at once divides into four, each of which reaches a lobe of 
the lung. The lobes of the lungs are not unbalanced in number* 
as are those of the liver, but in all the animals we are discussing 
there are two lobes on each side. It is further agreed, if not by 
all at least by those who dissect carefully, that there is also a fifth 
small lobe in the right lung, a mere offshoot of one of the others 
[lohus azygos]. This you will find most easily by paying atten/ 626 
tion to the vena cava, for it lies under that [lobe] where it first 
invades the thorax, as it leaves the diaphragm. Sometimes also 
you can see plainly on the surface [of that lobe] a cavity in which 
the vein is fixed in life [Fig. 21].^^^ 

After death the lungs are collapsed and small, there being a 
considerable space between them and the chest wall contrary to 
the condition in life. This will be considered after the discus/ 
sion of the heart, for it remains to describe how to expose it 
while the animal is alive, without damaging the thoracic cavities 
[i.e. the pleurae]. 

* Reading anisomenoi for anisoi. 


Chapter 12 

[ Vivisection of Heart and Lungs] 

626 If you recall what I said of the contact of the pericardium with 
the sternum, you will understand how to expose the heart. 
This, which I have already explained, must be done as in the 
dead animal. But it may be well for clarity to summarize the 
whole account. 

Use a young animal so that you do not need large knives. It 
must be on its back, on a board of the kind that you see I have 
quantities at hand, both large and small, so that one may always 
be found to fit the animal. This board should have holes bored 
in it through which a thin cord or even a rope will easily pass. 
An assistant should be instructed, when the animal is on its 
back on the board, to pass cords round it, one round each limb 
and the ends of the cords through the holes below and tied 
together there. If the animal has long hair about the breast/ 
bone, that should be removed. 

This is the way to prepare the subject for dissection. Make a 
straight incision with a large lancet along the sternum down/ 
wards to the ensiform cartilage. Thence turn the incision at right 
angles so as to bare the breast/bone — with or without the ensi/ 
628 form — of the overlying tissues.* Continue to apply the lancet 
in the same way, moving upwards over the sternum to where in 
the dead animal you have seen the pericardium attached under it. 

In the living the procedure is the same, as far as the incision 
goes, but there is a complication on which there is no need for 
long explanations to those who have seen me operating. To 
those who have not, I would say that from the thorax arteries 
and veins [internal mammary] emerge beside the root of the 
ensiform cartilage, one of each on each side, and that when 
severed — as they must be in this operation — haemorrhage re/ 
suits, especially from the arteries. 

Nothing upsets any operation like haemorrhage. Bearing this 
in mind, immediately you see blood spurt from the artery with 
* Text reads 'underlying'. 


the downward incision, turn the lancet as quickly as possible 
to the transverse incision. Then with the thumb and index of 62^ 
the left hand, grasp that part of the sternum where the artery is 
pouring forth blood, so that while the one finger acts as a 
stopper for the orifice, both grasp the bone. 

Next try to do two things at the same time, viz. cut with 
the lancet as quickly as possible and connect with the end 
of the downward incision first the transverse cut and after 
it the upward, and also with your finger keep bending back 
the breast/bone. When it is bent back properly the cause of 
the haemorrhage no longer exists, for the incision at either 
orifice is thus controlled, and the attachment of the pericardium 
is visible. This guides you to the completion of the incision. 
For when the sternum is bent back, the lower end is raised and 
by this position the haemorrhage is stemmed and the position 
of the vessels is altered as they are kinked above at the sternum 
and do not run straight down. 

On the inside two pairs of large arteries and veins [internal 6jo 
mammary] lie under the sternum and emerge by the root of the 
ensiform into the hypochondria. It is they which are cut in 
this operation. But in the other operation, in which I told you 
to sever the ribs at the bend where they change from bone to 
cartilage [p. 132], there is no fear of haemorrhage because of 
the smallness of the [local] vessels. This second method of 
incision is useful if you wish to observe the pulmonary vessels 
in the still living animal. That which I deal with now is useful 
for purposes of which I shall speak next, because it keeps both 
the cavities of the thorax undamaged. 

There is a third operation on the living animal which differs 
from the first^mentioned in that a similar incision is made in 
both the parts of the thorax. You will learn its usefulness a 
little later; that of the first you have already grasped sufficiently. 
But it is time for you to learn about the one which is our present 
subject. You will perform it most successfuly if you expose the 
heart and keep the [pleural] cavities of the thorax unharmed. 6p 
Sometimes in this operation the membrane round the heart is 



severed, but often it remains undamaged. In both those opera/ 
tions it is so far divided that the heart is exposed, but the mem/ 
branes that partition the thorax are not damaged, for if one be 
wounded the animal necessarily develops these symptoms which, 
as will be explained later, arise when the thorax is perforated. 

When the heart is exposed, your task is to preserve all its 
functions unimpaired, as in fact they are, so that you can see the 
animal breathing and uttering cries and, if loosed from its 
bonds, running as before. Further, if you continue to compress 
the wound with ligatures, you will see it taking food if hungry, 
and drinking if thirsty. And what is strange in that? The slave 
of Maryllus, the mime^writer, whose heart was once exposed, 
was cured and still lives [see below]. It is surely more Hkely that a 
6^2 non/rational brute, being less sensitive than a human being, 
will suffer nothing from such a wound. 

Chapter 13 

[^A Slave cured in whom the Sternum was excised^ 

63^ Since I have mentioned the slave that I treated, there would be 
no harm in giving details of his case. It is better to consider 
them because of the usefulness of his history, even if not strictly 
relevant to the present work. 

This slave received a blow on the sternum in the wresding 
school. It was neglected and later not carefully looked after. 
After some four months pus appeared in the injured part. To 
deal with this, the physician operated and, as he thought, 
quickly got the wound to cicatrize, but inflammation and sup/ 
puration set in again. Another incision was made. This could 
not be brought to heal. 

His master now summoned a number of physicians, of whom 
I was one, and asked us to hold a consultation. All agreed that 
the trouble was suppuration of the sternum, but there was 
visible movement of the heart on the left of it, so that no one 
dared remove the affected bone, thinking that it would involve 



a 'perforation (sY NT re sis) of the thoracic [cavity]. I said % 
that I would excise the bone without making what is tech/ 
nically termed a 'perforation'. As to complete recovery, I made 
no promise, for it was uncertain whether any of the tissues 
under the sternum were affected and to what extent. 

The region being exposed, no more of the sternum seemed 
affected than had appeared at first. The limits [of the wound] 
on either side, under which extend the arteries and veins, were 
seen to be healthy, and I thus gained more confidence in pro/ 
ceeding. When the bone affected had been excised, parti/ 
cularly at the highest level reached by the pericardium, the 
heart was seen exposed, for the membrane round it had here 
mortified. We then had little hope for the slave. Yet before long 
he recovered completely, which would not have been the case 
if no one had dared to excise the affected bone, and no one 
would have had the courage to do so without previous ana/ 
tomical experience. 

At the same time another physician, operating on a septic 6^4 
state in the arm due to determination of the humours there, 
severed a large artery through ignorance of the parts. He lost 
his nerve for the moment because of the haemorrhage, for it was 
deep and only with difficulty could he compress it with a liga/ 
ture and thus avert immediate danger. Nevertheless, he killed 
the man in another way, for gangrene produced by the ligature 
seized on the artery first and next on the surrounding parts. 

More could be said on this, but these few incidental points 
among many will prove to men of sense the usefulness of this 
work of mine. 

Chapter 14 

[^Conclusions from Vivisection of Thorax] 

Let us return again to the original suggestion of three similar ^34 
but not identical operations on the living animal. To observe 
the arteries of the lungs there suffices either a single incision 

B. 2353 O 



6js where the ribs bend, or beside it another in the remaining part 
of the thorax, the usefulness of which I shall explain later, or 
a third operation in which the heart is exposed but no *perfora^ 
tion' is made of the thorax [i.e. pleura]. There is nothing extra/ 
ordinary in this last, for while of course some injury is inflicted 
on the thorax there is, nevertheless, no *perforation', for that term 
is reserved for an incision that enters the pleural cavities. Any 
other incision of it is spoken of as * wounding', but not *perfora/ 

What then are the purposes of exposing the heart thus ? 
First, that we may see clearly how it beats and whether it is 
in diastole or systole that it strikes the chest in the sternal region. 
Secondly, that, laying bare the great artery, as you have seen me 
exposing that in the groin, we may observe exactly whether it is 
contracted while the heart is in diastole and expanded when it 
is in systole, or if both [heart and artery] are expanded and con^ 
tracted at the same time. Thirdly, by grasping the heart with 
636 the fingers — or with forceps as I habitually do since it readily 
escapes the fingers — we may see what sort of symptom is pro^ 
duced in the animal. And, moreover, to expose the error of those 
who say that such and such symptoms seize on the animal if 
one ligates the large artery or, as some say, the Venous artery' 
[pulmonary vein] running into the lungs. For on this they do 
not all say the same. For no such ligation can be made with^ 
out the thorax being perforated, nor, if it were, could it bind 
the root of the artery so exactly as to block its aperture. 

I found by experience that this was always said by those who 
could not expose the heart without perforation but who, under 
pressure, immediately perforated the thorax, saying that the 
operation was difficult; and that it was for this reason that they 
had postponed it, for [they said] had they exposed it, they would 
have put the ligature round it and demonstrated clearly what 
they promised. 

In contrast to them, what I promise I perform. For I expose 
^37 the heart easily without damage to any of the membranes partis 
tioning the cavity of the thorax. Then I ask them to put the 



ligature round the vessels springing from the heart. Under com^ 
pulsion, without effecting anything, they get so far as to tear 
apart some of the membranes and make a perforation. At that 
point they say they ought not to make any further attempt. 
But again I speedily expose the heart in another animal for 
them, and present this to them, and force them to make another 
attempt, until they are put to shame over their impudent pre/ 

It is not possible to ligature the course of the vessel. It can be 
done round the base of the heart, but the animal dies at once. 
One who said that, if the Venous artery' [pulmonary vein] be 
ligated when the heart is exposed without perforating the 
thorax, the lungs remain expanded, had a like experience when 
he was refuted before many witnesses by one of my colleagues. 

Such a combination of pretentious humbug and rash con/ 
fidence is shown by some in their behaviour to the ignorant, 
particularly when they come to speak of the Venous artery' 6^8 
which divides [almost] within the auricle. Others say they 
have ligatured it, for (they say) it comes forth single, and that 
then these two things happen: firstly, that all the arteries in the 
body become motionless, being, of course, deprived of the 
supply from the lungs that fills them; secondly, that the lungs 
remain at an equal distance apart, for obviously the heart is 
drawing nothing from them. Yet others profess to show the 
lungs moving after a ligation of the arteria tracheia 
[trachea] (and some have actually recorded this in writing!) 
without adding how they observed the lungs, whether with/ 
out a perforation in the thorax, or with one. Either is un/ 
believable. For with this perforation the whole process of 
respiration is destroyed, while if it be not perforated you cannot 
see within the thorax at all, except by excising a rib and leaving 
the pleura unharmed. Those who talk such nonsense do not 
even state this. But something will be said of these things in 
what follows in the special anatomy of the thorax. 

We shall return to what is seen in the heart when exposed. 


Chapter 15 

[Movements of the Heart investigated] 

% There is a third way of operating in which the incisions in the 
thorax are made about the bend of the ribs. Obviously the 
animal must quickly die from suffocation, since its power of 
respiration would be destroyed. But these are the phenomena 
in the heart. First I shall resume what I have to say about the 
operation so that not the smallest detail remains obscure. 

Ascertain exacdy in a dead animal the bending places of 
the ribs and recall them before you start. Arrange the animal on 
its back as explained [p. 190]. Then, having removed the hair 
from the site of the incisions, make two longitudinal cuts divide 
ing the flexures of the ribs. Next make a transverse incision at 

640 right angles across the xiphoid process, where, of course, you 
will encounter the arteries and veins. Disregard haemorrhage 
from them, for you no longer aim at keeping the animal alive. 
Now bend back the sternum and make another incision under 
it, separating the pericardium from it. If you wound the peri^ 
cardium without wounding the heart, pay no heed, for your 
aim is to see if both the ventricles beat, and that together, or 
only, as some say, the left. You will see still more clearly now 
than before and have more abundant evidence as to whether 
the arteries throughout the whole animal expand and con^* 
tract alternately [with the heart] or at the same time and with 
the same rhythm. 

All this will be clear to you at once when [the heart] is ex^ 
posed. As time goes on, the movements of each ventricle become 
brief, long pauses intervening, and also there becomes apparent 
the diastole of the right ventricle, accompHshing [its function] 

^4^ according to its own nature, as you will see particularly when 
those [parts] approach immobility. For in each [ventricle] the 
apex stops moving first and then the part next to it, and so on 
until the bases only are left still moving. When even these have 
stopped, an ill/defined and short movement at long intervals is 
still seen in the ^auricles'. The cause of this phenomenon we must 



investigate at leisure, for it would not seem natural (eulo^ 
gon) that its appendages should move longer than the heart 
itself. But here it is not our aim to examine causes but observed 
anatomical phenomena only. 

Chapter i6 

[Against the View that Arteries are Empty] 

For those who vivisect almost all that is necessary and useful has 
been said concerning the heart. It would be better now to turn 
to the phenomena of the thorax and lungs. But since some, 
talking impudent nonsense, openly promise to show that the 
arteries are empty of blood, one giving the lie to the other on 642 
actual observations, I too must spend time on this topic. 

One of them was always promising to exhibit the great 
artery empty of blood, but never did so. When some ardent 
youths brought animals to him and challenged him to the test, 
he declared he would not make it without a fee. They laid 
down at once a thousand drachmae for him to pocket should he 
succeed. In his embarrassment he made many twists and turns, 
but, under pressure from all present, mustered courage to take 
a lancet and cut along the left side of the thorax especially at the 
point where, he thought, the aorta should become visible. He 
proved so little practised in dissection that he cut on to the bone! 

Another of the same gang (choros) made his cut onto the 
bone across the intercostal region, and straightaway severed artery 
and vein. Thus the fellow incurred the ridicule of the youths 
who had deposited the stakes with the assembled spectators. % 
The youths themselves now carried out what the last had 
promised, making their incision as they had seen me, without 
damaging any vessels. Moreover, they quickly applied two 
ligatures, one immediately beyond the point where the aorta 
rises from the heart, the other where it reaches the spine. Thus, 
as the impudent fellow had promised, after the death of the 
animal it might be seen whether this stretch of the artery 



between the ligatures were empty of blood. When it was found 
far from empty, they said that an irruption had taken place into 
it when the ligatures were applied, as if someone else and not 
they themselves had undertaken to do the operation, though 
they were without the necessary experience and were incapable 
of applying the ligatures faster than others. For they did not 
even know that an artery and vein follow the lower border of 
each rib. 

Of the same ilk again was the man who invented the four^ 
edged hatchet but did not make nor even try it, though he inso/ 
644 lently promised to demonstrate with it an artery empty of blood! 
His dream was something like this. He wanted to get made a 
four/edged axe, square and coming to a single point whereat a 
handle was to be attached. Then an animal was to be stretched 
out on its belly and struck violently on the spine with the axe, 
so as to cut out a rectangular piece with one blow. With this 
peculiar outline, he said, the part of the great artery would be 
included and found empty of blood. This device may be left to 
the comic writers. 

We may recall yet another effort, that of a pompous septua/ 
genarian who claimed that he would demonstrate an artery 
empty of blood. The animal must be one that can be readily 
skinned, as a sheep, ox, or goat. The incision must be made at 
some point where a large artery lies just beneath the skin. The 
artery must have the skin removed all round and bared of the 
64s surrounding tissues so that it stand free. The cut in the skin 
must be protected and, after six or seven days, its edges opened 
and two ligatures put round the artery, as far apart as possible. 
When the part between were cut out it would then, he said, be 
found empty. This old fellow never dared to make his experi/ 
ment himself, but we did so for him as soon as we heard of it. 
We tried it on a goat, on kine, and on sheep, as the old man 
had directed. We then invited him to wake up and see for him/ 
self, once and for all, and be convicted of the error of what 
had appeared to him in a mere dream. 

Moreover, not long since another fellow gave a totally false 



account of an experiment described by me in my book An 
in arteriis natura sanguis contineatuY^"^^ Those who had observed 
my experiment were astonished at his temerity and asked him if 
he had ever performed it himself or merely relied on hearsay. 
He replied that he had performed it often. So they brought a 646 
goat and tried to force him to demonstrate it. He declined be^ 
cause, of course, he did not know how. They then demonstrated 
to the onlookers that the actual phenomenon was different [from 
what he said] and thus ended his absurd claims. 

The method of experiment is as follows. Of the large arteries 
near the skin, expose one, such as that by the groin, which is 
the one that I habitually use for the operation. Ligature it above 
and compress the artery itself with the fingers of the left hand, 
choosing as great a length as possible from the ligature devoid 
of a large branch. Then make in its wall a straight incision long 
enough for you to insert a tube between the ligature and the 
fingers. (Have ready a tube of a finger's length, such as a writing 
quill, or bronze pipe made for the purpose.) Obviously there 
will be no haemorrhage from the severed artery since the upper 64^ 
part, whence comes the blood, is stopped by the ligature, while 
the lower part no longer pulsates because of the ligature and 
because it is compressed by the fingers. Hence you can at your 
leisure insert the tube into the artery through the incision in its 
wall, and then ligate artery and quill with fine linen thread. 
(Take care that no part of the tube go [too far] beyond the in/ 
cision of the artery, and that the quill be of a calibre that the 
arterial coat does not lie slack on it, for we want it to remain in 
place, neither running up beyond the division in the artery, nor 
down it.) This done, loosen the ligature [first made] and, as a 
precaution, alter the position of the fingers with which you 
were compressing the artery, to the part round the quill. If the 
quill be tight and well ligated, there is no need to control it, and 
you can observe the uninterrupted part of the artery above the 
tube still pulsating as before and the lower part quite pulseless. 

This then is what is actually observed. Erasistratus, however, 648 
gave an opposite account, saying that the part below the quill 



is seen moving. So great is the temerity of those who make rash 
assertions without observing. 

During the experiment if you want no effusion of blood when 
the artery is cut, you can put a Hgature not only above but 
around the lower part too, which, of course, you will loosen 
later when you insert the tube. I do not put one around because 
I wish to keep the main body of the artery unpressed and uny 

Some describe further experiments, promising to demonstrate 
an artery empty of blood, claiming to be more clever and skilled 
than Erasistratus. For he certainly would have discovered it if 
there were any way of dissection by which an artery could be 
shown to be empty, Hke the method he described in the case of 

% new/born goats. But if you test it you will find that it is no 
true method. Make the test not only with kids but with any 
other sort of animal which has liquid in its stomach. For in 
proportion as the liquid is more subtle, it will be the more 
easily absorbed into the arteries.* 

They say then that at first when the mesentery is exposed the 
arteries appear full of air. Later they are seen to be filled with 
milk. Whether then they appear full of air need not detain us, 
though many vainly maintain inconsistent views on this, but 
as to the consistent falsity of their being full of milk, you can 
test for yourself on any animal. [It may be that] by its liquidity 
milk does enter the orifices of the arteries to the stomach and 

650 tends to flow towards the empty part, as Erasistratus says. But 
we never saw it absorbed in any case, nor will anyone who 
chooses to make the experiment. 

* Several repetitions are omitted in this paragraph. 


The Kemaining Thoracic Organs 

Chapter i 

[The Rihs and Boundaries of the Thorax] 

This book records operations on the organs of respiration which 651 
you have often observed. Since my aim is to reach, not only 
M you, to whom the treatise serves as memoranda, but all seri^ 
ously interested in anatomy, I must write it as clearly as pos/ 
sible for those who have never seen the operations. In Book 652 
VII almost everything has been said that is to be observed in 
the heart and lungs, both in the dead and living, and all the 
membranes in the respiratory organs are described. Our next 
task is to expound first the structure of the thorax as a whole, 
and then all that is observed in the thorax during vivisectional 

As those who describe a country set forth its boundaries 
before its parts, so shall I with the thorax. It is the region 
bounded by the ribs. All animals hitherto mentioned have 
twelve ribs. Thirteen is a very rare condition and eleven even 
rarer. Either is so rare that you would not find one in a thou/' 
sand. In animals with clavicles these form the upper Hmit of the 655 
thorax, while the diaphragm is the lower. All the ribs have two 
attachments; in front to the sternum and behind to the [tho^ 
rack] vertebrae. The latter are obviously equal in number to the 
ribs, but the breast^bone appears as single through fusion of its 
parts. Yet if the membranes all round it are scraped off, the 
sternum is seen to be of more [than one bone], in fact formed of as 
many as are the ribs articulated with it [in the monkey but not 
in man]. 

The anterior end of each rib is articulated with the lower 
[part] of the corresponding bone which makes up the sternum 



[stemehra]. The end of the rib, growing thinner, is fused with 
the mid part of the bony sternal mass (harmonia), so that in 
some animals the ribs articulate no more with the bone above 

6s4 than with that below, but rather with both. The first seven ribs 
of the thorax thus articulate. The eighth reaches the root of the 
xiphoid cartilage. The remaining four end in the lateral parts 
of the thorax, falling short [of the sternum] in front in propor/ 
tion as they diminish. The last is the smallest and each of the 
others, in order, exceeds in length the one below as much as it 
falls short of that above. 

Each rib articulates behind with a thoracic vertebra by 
a double joint, above with the body of the vertebra [costo^ 
vertebral joint], below with the apophyses at the sides in a verti^ 
cal row [costotransverse joint]. Thence the ribs slant forward and 
downward for most of the way, changing [their direction] 
towards the front. There they cease to be bony and, in small 
animals, the remaining part becomes cartilage in the strict sense, 
in larger, bony cartilage. These [costal] cartilages have not the 
same direction as the ribs (which from the start run down 

655 together slantwise) but, turning the opposite way, run up to 
the sternum, making, in some animals a curved turn, in others 
[notably artiodactyla] an angular. 

Those ribs that do not reach the sternum are called Talse*. 
They have a cartilaginous tendency, but at the ends are actual 
cartilages. From the inner parts of these arises the diaphragm 
(pHRENEs), its higher front part from the xiphoid, its lower 
back part from the spine. At the middle part it rides on the 
front of the vertebral column through two very strong liga^ 
ments inserted into the lower vertebrae [crura diaphra^mi]. 
These, when the animal is loud^-voiced or has naturally sinewy 
muscles, are very strong and long, extending to about the 

6^6 twenty^second vertebra [L.4], counting from above. In a weak/ 
voiced animal with muscles of the thorax no more powerful 
than those of the ape they [i.e. the crura] are neither thick nor 

The upper end of the sternum always articulates with the 


first rib, as in other animals. (In those which have collar/bones, 
it articulates with them also.) Yet this joint contributes nothing 
to the motion of the thorax,^^^ [q^ the front ends of the ribs, 
where they are joined to the sternum, its movements are indis^ 
tinct, while they are plain to see in the back parts where, I said, 
the ribs articulate with the vertebrae by freely moving joints 
[i.e. by diarthrosis]. 

As was stated in Book V, not all the muscles attached to the 
thorax exist to move it. Some run up from the chest and the 
regions by the false ribs to help move the shoulder joint. Others 
run down to the epigastric region and, for purposes of their 
own, draw down the thorax somewhat. Yet others laid upon 
the ends of the ribs outside, at the sternum in front and at the 
vertebrae behind, bind the articulations and contract the thorax ^57 
a litde. 

Chapter 2 

[Some Errors as to the Movement of the Chest] 

The whole movement [of breathing] is obviously initiated below ^57 
by the diaphragm, expanding and contracting alternately on its 
attachments, according to its own tension and relaxation. This 
[contraction] draws down the sternum by the xiphoid carti/ 
lage, while the false ribs move gently upwards and forwards. 
Respiration — which is thought to be a physical and not a psychic 
act, in which the lower parts of the thorax and hypochondria 
are plainly seen to move while the upper may move litde or not 
at all — is produced by the diaphragm, which is a muscle both 
in substance and function. 

But our teachers were wrong in thinking that only the dia^ 
phragm moves the thorax when the breath is drawn in, expand/ 
ing it when it is taut and allowing it to sink down into itself 
being relaxed. How we exhale or phonate at all they did not 65^ 
even try to explain. They thought that the wide movements of 
the thorax, seen in racing or after any violent exercise, were 



produced by the diaphragm. They passed over the intercostal 
muscles altogether, as though these had come into being pur/ 
poselessly. Similarly they forgot the six muscles running 
down from the neck, of which those attached in the concavi^ 
ties of the scapulae [atlantoscapularis anterior] are the largest, the 
anterior muscles [scaleni, very different in ape and man] are 
next in size, and those that grow out of the vertebrae of the 
spine [rhomhoidei] the smallest. They omitted the muscles that 
elevate the ribs and those that depress the last ribs. (It was 
explained in Book V how best to examine these muscles. 
Something was also said of the posterior muscles of the scapu/ 
lae, which link them with the thorax, as with the thoracic 
vertebrae, but impart no movement to it [that is, to the thorax].) 
Nor did they mention those spinal muscles attached under and 
beside the thoracic vertebrae, and those set under the upper 
orifice of the stomach, and the muscles in the loins below; for 
65P the spine is bent by these but they contribute no part to the act 
of respiration as do muscles that distend and contract the 

I have spoken of the last among the factors of respiration. At 
present I do not aim to demonstrate what has already been 
properly demonstrated in those books, but only to remind you 
how rightly to demonstrate what we said there of what is seen 
to happen in the thorax. Indeed even in my De thoracis et puh 
monis motu^^ I have mentioned a number of anatomical observa^ 
tions. It is fitting now, too, to say something about how to make 

It has been stated also in my De causis respirationis^ that my 
three books De thoracis et pulmonis motu were compiled before I 
had made any considerable discoveries of my own. Being given 
to a colleague they became public property, contrary to my 
judgement, Hke many other works. Right from boyhood I 
thought it right that any who made a discovery should put it 
and it only into writing, for I had no wish to publish as mine 
660 the work of my predecessors. But I think it not only an unex/- 
ceptionable, but a most useful practice, that each compose 



exercises of his own, as for example to gratify a friend who has 
asked for them. 

My teachers — they were the foremost among the pupils of 
Quintus^"^ and Numisianus^^ — demonstrated and proved to me 
that the lungs are moved by the thorax as Erasistratus had 
described. Proofs of this are set down in the first two books of 
my De thoracis et pulmonis motu^^ with the observations which 
provided the evidence for this. The third book of that work 
explains the nature of thoracic movement. It, too, is in accord 
with the view of my teachers. But what I myself discovered on 
the movement of the thorax, I explained in another work of 
mine De causis respirationis,^ wherein I made clear the double 
character of the intercostal muscles, their nature, and the number 
of all the muscles that move the thorax and the origins of the 
nerves distributed to them. 

Chapter 3 

[Results of cutting the Intercostal Muscles] 

I must now explain how to demonstrate the phenomena men/ 661 
tioned in my De causis respirationis,^ starting with the inter/ 
costal muscles, whose superficial fibres you will see pass slighdy 
obliquely and anteriorly from the rib above to that below. Dis/ 
secting them litde by little in the dead animal (for it is best to 
get practice on a carcase), you will reach to where the fibres 
within cross them in the opposite direction, so that their relation 
is like [the limbs of] the letter X. This you will see maintained 
as far as the [bend at the] cartilaginous portion of each rib, 
but there the fibres of the two interchange, and you can see 
the outer taking the place of the inner and vice versa. In the 
muscles of the false ribs the fibres have the same nature through/ 
out, for these have no bend. The fibres in these muscles are 
mosdy clearly seen in an old thin animal. 

When you have practised separating the superficial fibres 662 
from the deeper on a dead animal, try the same on a live one. 


You will then admit that I am right in my exposition of the 
situation when the fibres are cut. I discussed these in my De 
causis respirationis, but I shall do so again now. It will do no 
harm thus to start afresh, so as to be clear. I want you first then 
to practise on a dead animal, noting accurately the position of 
each part, so that in the living you may expose it as quickly and 
with as little loss of blood as possible. 

In the intercostal muscles, then, close to and below the rib, 
you will see artery, vein, and nerve, the nerve being nearest [the 
intercostal space]. In dissecting the superficial muscles in a dead 
animal, practice beginning from the lower rib. Breaking up the 
% conjunction of the fibres, cut gradually to the rib above without 
fear of severing vessel, muscle, or nerve, until you approach the 
rib above. There you must pay careful attention to the tissues 
beneath the fibres, for you will see artery, vein, and nerve in con^ 
tact, the nerve in the space between the superficial and deep 
fibres, if you follow them exactly. The superficial fibres will look 
to you more numerous than the deep, both because they really 
are more numerous and because the deep fibres are fined away. 

In the living animal, that you may dissect either the outer 
fibres without the inner, or the inner along with the outer, and 
without the membrane [pleura] lining the ribs, it is better for 
you to practise on a pig, for the animal with the loudest cry 
is the most suitable for anatomical experiments in which the 
voice is liable to injury. This was naturally unknown to my 
teachers, since they had never attempted the operation to be 

That when both the layers of fibres are cut, the animal's 
664 voice is destroyed as well as what I call 'expiration* (ekphy/ 
s E s I s), if you attempt to cut them, the facts themselves will con^ 
vince you. For this operation it is best to use a large pig, for 
then the membrane lining the ribs [pleura] is strong. Take care 
not to cut it, for if you do the thorax is distended, much air 
from without is drawn into the region between thoracic wall 
and lung, and as it is contracted this is emptied out again 
through the wound. Obviously the quantity of air breathed in 


through the mouth which is lost via the wound corresponds to 
the excess that flows into the thorax from outside.* 

It is superfluous to expound here the causes of what happens 
to animals in anatomical operations, for they have been stated 
in works devoted to them. My present aim is not to demonstrate 66s 
the action of the nerves but to explain verbally the operations 
illustrating the phenomena that I revealed by dissection in those 
treatises — experiments often seen by many, but within the capa^ 
city of few. Let us do this then in what follows, and again first 
state what was known to our predecessors in anatomy. 

When a considerable incision is made anywhere between the 
ribs and through the [pleural] membrane lining them, the 
animal at once loses half its power of respiration and phonation. 
If a similar cut be made on the other side of the thorax, it 
ceases to breathe or cry. But, when the thorax is contracted and 
the air that has got in through the incisions has been emptied 
out, if you then block [the incisions], the animal will at once 
breathe and utter a cry. It is easy to block them by drawing 
together the lips of the incisions, using the hand that is drawing 
them together as a cover for the part that is not blocked. 

These observations were known to all those who were seri/ 666 
ously interested in anatomy. But it was my discovery that, when 
the fibres are cut in all the intercostal muscles of both sides, not 
only is the power of utterance lost but also that of expiration is 
destroyed; just as when the nerves are cut short of the spinal 
cord, the action of the intact muscles is destroyed. This experi/ 
ment is more refined [than the cutting of the fibres] for it shows 
resulting conditions more clearly. But the cutting of the mus^ 
cular fibres, which must be along the whole length of the ribs 
in all the ribs below the high muscles of the thorax (which, I 
said, come down into them from the neck), is easily carried 
out and does not impair the activity of any of the muscles mov/ 
ing the thorax except those actually cut. (To make the incision 
in the intercostal regions above, it would be necessary to remove 
the shoulder-blades.) 

* Four lines of repetition here. 


Chapter 4 

[Results of injuring the Intercostal Nerves^ 

66j A better experiment is the cutting of the [intercostal] nerves. 
It paralyses the intercostal muscles. It should be done where the 
spinal muscles are first distinguishable at the side of the verte/- 
brae. You can cut these, but owing to the thick flesh you cannot 
easily insert the hook under the exposed nerve. Because of the 
depth of the flesh, you cannot easily insert the kind of hook 
that we use in operations on varices. You must use one with a 
very short bend to get beneath the exposed nerve, without per^ 
forating the pleura. Too sharp an instrument might wound it, 
and one too blunt could be passed only with difficulty 
through the tissues beneath the nerve. It must so taper at the 
end that when passed under the nerve it is not checked by the 
underlying muscle fibres but passes through them all readily. 

Having raised the intact nerve with such a hook, straightway 
let the hook be thrust carefully under it as though you were using 

668 a probe or something of the kind.* Now grasp it and, along the 
neighbouring rib, pull upon its origin in the spinal marrow. If 
you pull too hard it may happen that the nerve breaks away from 
the spinal marrow. So far as this involves paralysis of the inter/ 
costal muscle this matters little, but harm is done in another 
respect as I shall state shortly. Therefore do not stretch it to 

After the stretching, put under it a curved needle with a 
thread; push it through beneath the nerve, and you will have 
the thread lying under it. Grasp it and put a loop of it round the 
nerve as near as possible to the spinal marrow. You aim to 
paralyse the whole muscle. This is easily done if you paralyse 
the nerve first by inserting the loop near the root. The operation 
can be done without a needle by a pierced hook, as is usually 

66^ done for the nerve adjoining the carotid arteries. 

You can do the same thing if you examine by yourself what 
happens to the animal when the nerves are tied, but for a 

* A line of text here is so corrupt as to be unintelligible. 


demonstration it is better to put threads under all the nerves 
without tying them. Then you can show that the animal cries 
out when struck, but that it suddenly becomes silent after the 
nerves have been tied. The spectators are astonished. They 
think it wonderful that phonation is destroyed when small 
nerves in the back are tied. Have several assistants to help you 
in such demonstrations so that the loops may be put round all 
the nerves quickly. If you do not want to loosen them, it does 
not matter how you bind, but if you want to loosen them again 
to show how the animal recovers its voice — for this surprises 
the spectators even more — do not bind the loops too tightly, so 
that it is easy for you to loosen them quickly. What is called 
the * blind knot* is quite hard to undo. If you tie it moderately S-jo 
tight, the animal will be able to cry out at once. Nerves too 
tightly bound are liable to be crushed when the cord is thick, 
and cut through when it is thin. If this happens, the nerves will 
not be able to function again. Being on my guard against this, as 
you know, I often used strong woven threads of yarn or wool.* 
You must know two things here, {a) In the upper ribs the 
nerve extends higher along them, but retreats a little towards 
the region below in the lower, so that it is easier to slip the hook ^7^ 
under the nerve in them. (^) The extent of the damage is not 
exactly the same for all the intercostal [nerves], for those to the 
false ribs it is less in that their muscles are smaller than those to 
the higher. Thus injury to the first intercostal muscle causes 
least damage, that to the second greater, and paralysis of the 
other muscles in ascending series produces yet more injury, that 
is of the third, fourth, and on to the sixth and seventh [from the 
bottom]. "t* So that in demonstrating, as you know, I usually pass 
it [that is the last nerve] over, so as to complete the experiment 
the quicker. The last intercostal nerve is very easily extracted, 
that in the first [interspace] with the greatest difficulty, because 672 
many structures lie in front of it and because the nerve itself is 
very small, as is the whole [of its] intercostal region. 

* Here eight lines of repetition. 

"j" Here four lines of almost verbal repetition. 

B. 2353 P 



The last intercostal region of all is the smallest, yet not its 
nerve,* for in the false ribs the size of the nerves is greater than 
what you would expect, for they are not distributed there only 
but pass out of the thorax into the hypochondria. On the 
other hand, the nerve of the first intercostal region is distributed 
only to its own muscle, which is very small. So nine intercostal 
regions are left, which need dissection as described. 

As you have seen me make the demonstration whenever the 
thorax was the subject for dissection, it is possible for you to 
do it yourselves, giving the explanation of the phenomena that 
are to be shown, and directing others to extract the nerves in 
order to make separate demonstrations to the audience. If we 
give a demonstration single-handed to a few diligent students, 
it is obvious, I think, without my saying it, that we must first 
choose a light room and scalpels as sharp as possible. It has 
been remarked already that such a scalpel is needed for perfect 
exactitude in the incisions. Use especially the convex part of the 
double-edged scalpel with both cutting edges curved, but con^' 
cave on one side, convex on the other. I want you particularly 
to make the incision first when practising by yourself in the way 
I explained, but later in the opposite way, as I shall explain 
next, after I have reminded you of the method described before. 

According to it, I desired you to make the incision in the 
mid part of the intercostal region, away from the rib above but 
along the upper part of the rib below. Loosening the fibres at^ 
tached to it, you can strip them off little by little as far as the 
rib above, until you encounter the vein lying on the surface, 
and then the artery and the nerve, all alongside the rib, the nerve 
lying a litde nearer [i.e. lower]. 

When you have practised observing their position in the car^ 
case, turn again to those at the very bottom of the [next] higher 
rib. Lay the part bare with one stroke of the scalpel, severing 
the overlying fibres but keeping the nerve undamaged, for which 
purpose a convex 'myrde' scalpel is best. At least I use it, as 

* Here text inserts by dittography T o mesopleurionpolon from two 
lines above. 


you know, for severing the fibres of the lower rib, and then of 
the others one by one. Sometimes I bare the nerve with a single 
stroke of the scalpel and, if I fail to hit the exact distance, I do 
the job with the second. You must not give up hope of improve^ 
ment, if at first you need three or four strokes to expose it. Hear 
Hippocrates on the matter: *You should accustom yourself 
beforehand to the operations you have to carry out and keep 
your hand in.'^^^ For sooner or later you will attain your aim 
and expose the nerve with a single stroke. 

In practising this do not neglect to slip the hook under it [i.e. 
the nerve] in the right way and try not to wound or tear apart 
the artery or vein. With the nerves damaged, the animal be/ 675 
comes dumb, but with two other consequences that I have 
shown to follow injury of the voice. Firstly, as cause of the 
next two symptoms, immobility of the intercostal muscles. 
Secondly, loss of the power of *rapid expiration' without 
which no cry can be uttered, as I proved. From this a third 
consequence is dumbness. And in this experiment there is a 
fourth consequence that requires explanation. You will recog^ 
nize it clearly in the actual experiments with the aid of the 
following exposition. 

Chapter 5 

[Control of Thoracic Movements] 

The nerves [recurrent laryngeal] that accompany those arteries ^75 
that people call kar5tides were known to my teachers .When 
these nerves receive one of the injuries I mentioned not long 
since, the animal becomes dumb, but not to such a degree as 
from injury to the intercostal nerves, for it can still produce a 
hoarse sound like that of a man snoring in sleep. This power is 6y6 
lost when the intercostal muscles are paralysed; and they are 
quickly paralysed when either their fibres are cut, or the ribs 
removed, or the nerve destroyed at the root, or the spinal cord 
severed at the top of the thoracic vertebrae (metaphrenon). 
In this last operation the hoarse sound is lost, since all the 



parts below, i.e. the intercostal and abdominal muscles, are also 
paralysed. (These operations have been discussed in Book V, 
where I described how best to distinguish the eight of them.) 
Along with them the muscles in fundament, penis, bladder, 
and legs, are also paralysed. The diaphragm, however, though 
lower than the intercostals, is not paralysed, because the origin 
of its nerves is above the thorax. Nor is there damage to the six 
muscles descending from the neck which dilate the thorax [p. 
128], and particularly its upper part, for they too have their 
nerves from the spinal cord (notiaios) in the neck. 

^77 You have seen all this publicly demonstrated when the 
thorax was the subject for dissection. I had to explain and 
demonstrate its nature during many consecutive days. When 
the spinal cord was severed at the beginning of the thorax, 
which is between the seventh and eighth vertebrae, the animal 
fell and lay on its side, the lower parts of the thorax being 
moved by the diaphragm alone, which an animal uses for 
shallow breathing only. When, however, it needs to fetch 
deeper breaths, whether by reason of exhaustion, or fever, or 
because of the heat, or for some bodily distress, it must invoke 
the intercostals to the aid of the diaphragm and, at need, the 
higher muscles as well. 

You observed the animal, when the spinal cord was severed 
at the beginning of the back, falling down at once, lying on its 

6-/$ side, remaining dumb, and its thorax devoid of movement 
except below where it is moved by the action of the diaphragm. 
Also you observed that the movement of the parts of the 
thorax is more clearly seen when all the surrounding skin has 
been removed. All the intercostal muscles became completely 
motionless, while the lower parts of the thorax were dilating, 
some faint movement passing to the upper parts. So with the 
animal in this condition, as you know, I again cut the origins 
of the nerves descending into the diaphragm. Immediately the 
movement of the lower thorax ceased and the high muscles 
were forced into action, and the upper region of the thorax was 
clearly seen being dilated by them. 


Taking a second animal and cutting the cervical nerve^roots 
to the diaphragm, I immobilized the lower thorax at once 
while the intercostals remained active. 

When the cord was cut at the beginning of the back, [you 
will remember that] the animal at once lay on its side, moving 
both parts of the thorax, the higher and lower [but not the ^19 
middle] for, because of the need to inhale more deeply, the 
diaphragm alone did not suffice. When, however, the animal 
inhales with the aid of the upper muscles, the movement is 
plainly visible along the entire shoulder/blades as far as the 
top of the shoulder. But when it breathes with the diaphragm 
alone, the hypochondria swell at each inhalation, and contract 
at each exhalation, the parts at the shoulder-blades remaining 
motionless. When only the intercostals are called into play, the 
shoulder/blades are motionless, but the hypochondria contract 
as the animals inhale and swell as they exhale — the reverse of 
what happens when the diaphragm is active. 

If you choose to paralyse the muscles of the shoulder/blades 
you can do so in two ways, either severing them transversely 
or damaging their nerves. For you must know that this is true 
of all muscles, that whether you damage their nerves or cut their 
fibres, you render them motionless. So it is essential for you to 
know of the muscles, not only the origins of their nerves, but 
also the lie of their fibres. Some [fibres] run down from above, 
like those of the anterior and middle muscles of the thorax, 
some pass transversely like those of the posterior muscles. In 
nearly all the muscles the fibres run parallel to the length, 
though in some they behave in the opposite way, as in the inter/ 
costal muscles. 

Thus when, as I have said, you paralyse the higher muscles 
only, as need arises the animal invokes the activity of the inter/ 
costal muscles. I have mentioned almost all the conditions in 
which the animal needs to breathe deeply, but sometimes there 
is added, not a bodily condition, but a strong impulse, as when 
the animal desires to utter a cry. As a herald about to make an 
announcement inhales as deeply as possible to have ample 



breath (hyle) for his voice, so sometimes do some animals 
when being dissected. You must remember these facts and 
all their consequences, some of which I think I had better 
681 enumerate, and particularly those that belong to the experi/ 
ments already described. 

Chapter 6 

[Operations on the Spinal Cori] 

681 In dissection of the intercostal muscles you must begin to 
expose the bone, as I said, at the lowest part of the edge of each 
rib, but when the nerve comes to light examine with it the vein 
and the artery, lying nearer the surface than the nerve and a little 
higher.* Insert then from belowf the small hook beside the 
edge of the rib, extract the nerve as far as you can without the 
vessels by it, and particularly avoiding the artery, since by pro/ 
fuse bleeding it conceals the nerve. Should you wound it, cut 
it right across immediately. This is the one way to check such 
haemorrhage in all vessels, since each severed end is retracted 
to contiguous parts. These, if fleshy, may serve as a covering, 

682 but if bare litde can be gained by this cutting. The intercostal 
vessels themselves are not bare of flesh, so bleeding stops when 
they are cut. Neither this point, germane to what was said 
before, nor the severing of the spinal marrow, was previously 

I perform this [experiment on the spinal cord], as you know, 
in larger animals by excising first the [arches of the] vertebrae, 
but in small animals, like young pigs of a few days old, by an 
instrument of my own devising, like the so/called sharp/pointed 
bistoury. It should be made of the finest steel, like the Nori/ 
can,^^^ that it be not blunted, bent, or broken. It must be thicker 
than a common bistoury, so that, as you press on the junction 
of the vertebrae, the operation is accomplished with ease. 
Sometimes, as you know, after piercing the skin and under/ 

* Text says 'lower'. -f Text says 'from higher parts'. 


lying tissues with the scalpel, I insert the 'elongated knife', for 
so I call it (with its sharp edges meeting at the end in a single % 
point), as far as the joints of the vertebrae. Sometimes too I 
excise beforehand the posterior apophyses or the whole convex 
part at the back of the vertebrae themselves. Often also I re/ 
move as much of the spinal muscles as lies between the middle 
of the spine and the ends of these oblique apophyses [trans^ 
verse processes] to get an accurate view of the vertebral joints. 
I think it right to notice particularly the processes of the spine. 
They run slightly downwards, so that the first stroke of the 
scalpel should be made rather slantwise down from above, and 
the second precisely at right angles. 

Sever the spinal marrow transversely and completely, un/ 
less you wish to half/paralyse it. That operation is indeed most 
useful for learning its whole nature, about which I shall speak 
in Book XIV. But for displaying that on which we are em/ 
barked, it is enough for you to know as follows: 

When the spinal marrow is cut in the middle, straight down/ 
ward, it does not paralyse either [set] of the intercostal muscles, 684 
or those in the loins or legs. When cut transversely, if only 
the half is severed, all the nerves on that side are paralysed in 
series. So if you wish to make the animal half/vocal you must 
cut it so; if you want it voiceless you must sever the whole 

Chapter 7 

[Operations involving Loss of Voice] 

I have said that when the ribs are excised the animal suffers in 684 
its power of expiration and of phonation, as when the muscles 
and nerves are cut. It must now be explained how you are to 
excise the ribs. I want you to pay attention to the position of the 
ribs when the animal cries. For as the intercostal muscles are 
drawn in tightly by this act, the convexities of the ribs become 
apparent. As this is the case specially in thin animals, I wish 
you to make these experiments on such. 



68s While the animal is phonating observe accurately the ipos'u 
tion of the rib you are going to excise. Cut down through the 
skin and fleshy substance that lies under the main part of the 
rib, using a *cutting/block' (epikopon) as it is called by 
anatomists and surgeons. If not enough is cut at the first stroke, 
it may need a second or even a third. The first incision must 
be made carefully, for sometimes the inexperienced tail the 
incision over the length of the rib, and the scalpel slips from 
the convex part to the intercostal region and touches a nerve, 
artery, or vein by the lower edge of the rib. If you practise in the 
first incision, by making the longest cut you can along the rib 
down to the periosteum, you get the job done best and quickest. 

686 Each rib is enveloped by a membrane like the other periosteal 
membranes. So when you cut along the rib, scrape this from 
the bone, using a 'myrtle' scalpel curved on each side. When 
the periosteum is stripped so that the bone is seen high up, 
slip a delicate meningophylax or a flat spatulary probe 
between periosteum and rib, taking care not to tear or per/ 
forate the pleura. 

This done, excise the rib by two chisels opposing each other 
in the usual fashion. If the animal is new/born, there suffices a 
single transverse cut, made through the cartilaginous part of the 
rib. If the periosteal membrane has been carefully removed, it 
is easy to grasp with your fingers and gradually to bend up 
the divided parts of the rib, each toward the part continuous 
with it, at the back to the vertebral joint, at the front to the 
junction with the sternum. 

68j Avoid the excision of the ribs under the scapulae, for they 
would need to be removed as well ; for, hampered by them and by 
the high intercostal muscles, as I said before, the excision of the 
ribs in this region is very difficult. For this reason the experiment 
involving the destruction of the nerves is better. 

To be truly convinced that the power of both expiration 
and phonation is injured by the paralysis of the intercostal 
muscles, it suffices to destroy those below the shoulder-blades, 
by severing their fibres, or by excising one of the bones. The 


proportion that those paralysed bear to all the intercostal muscles 
seems to determine how much of the whole natural power of 
expiration and of utterance is lost. 

The same thing happens to them in all the experiments 
causing paralysis, which are four: one by excision of the ribs, 
another by severing the spinal marrow, a third by severing the 
nerves, and a fourth by severing the fibres. If then the muscles 
are paralysed on one side, half the power of expiration and of 688 
phonation is lost; if in half of either, then the fourth part of 
both these activities is destroyed: for the damage done to the 
voice is in proportion to the number of muscles paralysed, of 
course taking into account the size of the muscles. For if you 
paralyse on either side the largest only or the smallest only, 
the damage you will do to the power of utterance will not 
be the same, though you injure the same number of muscles, 
for there is a difference between the larger and the smaller in 
respect of the damage. 

It has been remarked [p. 215] that the power of utterance and 
expiration is more completely lost when the spinal marrow is 
severed. But if you cut the fibres of the intercostal muscles, or 
excise the ribs, there remain of the muscles moving the thorax 
those set upon the ends of the ribs, and, among the muscles in 
the abdomen, the first and third pairs. Since the movement of 68g 
the thorax that they effect is small, the power of expiration 
becomes small, and the voice also. Hence in the experiments I 
have described, the animal sometimes makes a feeble and indis^ 
tinct muttering. However, the cutting of the nerves produces 
almost equal injury to, or only little less than, that caused by the 
cutting of the spinal marrow, because* the said muscles [ ? of 
abdomen, Sec] do not receive offshoots from the intercostal 
nerves. Indeed if the parts of the first and second pair of muscles 
after the hypochondria have nerves from either side, the part of 
them by the thorax must necessarily lose its activity, so that, being 
itself moved along with the lower parts, it produces no percep-' 
tible damage either in the power of expiration or of utterance. 
* Reading DiA to me instead of di atom e. 



It has been stated in the books on the voice that the power 
of utterance is lost according to circumstances in such cases, 
but first that of expiration. But since once more expiration is a 
kind of complete and violent exhalation, it was necessary to 
mention such experiments now, in the account of the respira^ 
6go tory organs. I shall speak of them again in the anatomy of the 
vocal organs. 

Chapter 8 

[Further Experiments to illustrate Thoracic Movements] 

6po Logically the next step would be to make the whole thorax 
motionless by ligating the nerves that move its muscles. This 
you have often seen me demonstrate not only to you privately, 
but in public. You can immobilize the intercostal muscles 
through the nerves that reach them from the spinal marrow, as 
I have described, and then the diaphragm by destroying the 
origins of its nerves. You have seen me demonstrate all these 
things both privately and publicly, using pigs because there is 
no advantage in having an ape in such experiments and the 
spectacle is hideous. It is not possible to indicate in words the 
place where it is necessary to make a clear demonstration. But 
my statement will be useful both in reminding those who have 
already observed these things, and for inducing those who have 
never seen anything of the kind to make the experiment. 

691 When the animal is in position on its back, held on the 
board by cords, not only by its four limbs but also by its head 
and neck, you will find the nerves lying underneath at the origin 
of the forelimbs. It is better to remove the whole skin there to 
observe two large veins, one running up to the neck slantwise 
[external ju^ular]y the other, at a right angle to it, to the origin 
of the front limbs [suhclauian]. 

When you have stripped off with your fingers the membrane 
between these, you will see the [phrenic] nerves in the side of the 
neck running down slantwise to the thorax, attached to the 



underlying muscle [scalenus anterior] and almost touching the 
first rib where these [i.e. muscle and rib] conjoin. 

Once you visualize the region exactly, you can proceed to 
strip the skin of the neck by a single incision to the site of the 
[phrenic] nerves. And if you practise this you will succeed in 
exposing them with one stroke. 6^2 

In pigs there are generally three on each side, in apes usually 
two, and occasionally three, as there is occasionally a fourth in 
pigs. The spinal cord in the neck is the origin of them all. The 
first pair springs from between the fourth and fifth vertebrae, 
the second from between the fifth and sixth, and the third from 
beyond the sixth. The last is quite small. If a fourth be present 
it is a minute offshoot of the pair after the seventh vertebra. 
When all these nerves have been cut, the diaphragm becomes 
motionless. In the same way, if you were to destroy each of the 
six muscles coming from the neck into the thorax, you would 
injure their nerves and destroy their activity.* 

There are two methods of destruction, cutting or interrupting. 
But since neither the muscles nor (even less) the nerves are 
visible when only the skin is removed you must dissect the 
muscles first that run up to the shoulder/jointf from the breast. % 
This seems difficult to the inexperienced, and perhaps one 
might think that one animal is not enough for all the experi/ 
ments which you must perform, apart from the destruction of 
the nerves which make the whole thorax motionless. But any/ 
one who has seen me often doing this can be persuaded of 
the possibility of the experiment described, for it seems trouble^ 
some and discourages the inexperienced through the impress 
sion it makes on the mind rather than by its actual practice. 
So let no one be cast down, but take heart for the attempt; 
first removing the skin from the breast, for this is done without 
losing blood; secondly removing the muscles entering the joint 
at the shoulder, which also involves no loss of blood; and 
thirdly separating the scapulae from the muscles underlying 

* Slight disturbance of text here. 

f Reading kat' 5mon for the senseless kato monon. 



^94 them, as well as the muscles running up to the shoulder joint, 
namely the large one that forms the armpit [pectoralis major] and 
the small one [pectoralis minor] found towards the shoulder. 

This having been done, there will then appear the two pairs of 
the high muscles of the thorax [scaleni dorsalis et ventralis 
traversed by the brachial plexus in pigs]. Thus you will see 
clearly the nerves of the one, the larger, mounted on the muscles, 
while those of the other, the lesser, which has an anterior posi^ 
tion, too, are harder to discern; but if you have practised before^ 
hand on a dead animal, even they are not difficult to find. Also, 
without stripping off the shoulder-^blades along with the afore^ 
said muscle, it is possible to find the starting-points of the nerves 
of the muscles moving the thorax, which nerves enter the heads 
of each pair. I shall speak of them in the anatomy of the muscles 
so clearly as to enable any diligent student working by himself 
to do perfectly the experiment just described. 

There is a third pair of the muscles moving the thorax, thin 
and small, arising from a delicate membranous ligament behind 
the shoulder/blades [j m. rhomhoideus thoracis of pig]. It is not 
seen when the skin has been removed until the muscles peculiar 

6gs to the scapula have been dissected. Therefore you must grasp 
this fact about these muscles, too, that when you cut its own 
peculiar muscles at each shoulder/blade and lay bare the pair 
of membranous muscles, even so it is not open to you as with 
the former muscles to make them motionless by destroying the 
nerves. This is because the nerves moving them are at once 
hidden and very delicate. But you can readily paralyse the 
muscles by cutting their heads which are membranous liga^ 

You must grasp this fact in general about all muscles, that 
if their heads be severed, they no longer act. If then the muscle 
have one single head, it is easier by cutting that to deprive the 
muscle of motion; if it have several, you must cut them all. In 
some muscles the number of heads is not easy to discover when 
they start from several bony processes, as happens with these 
two pairs belonging to the thorax that I mentioned before and 



more so with the anterior pair. It is safer then, to cut them at 6g6 
that point where their heads first gather together. For I am in 
the habit of doing this with the anterior muscles as well when/ 
ever I want to produce paralysis, not by destroying the nerves 
but by severing the muscles themselves. In these a deep incision 
is required, since they reach a considerable depth when their 
heads are gathered together. The division is easiest in the pos/ 
terior muscles, so that it can be made with the nails. 
Enough has been said of the muscles peculiar to the thorax. 

Chapter 9 

[Transverse Sections of Spinal Cori] 

Of course, the incision in the spinal marrow will be discussed 6g6 
later when I reach that topic. For the present it will suffice to 
say no more than is useful for our immediate problems. 

If you sever it completely between the third and fourth 
vertebrae, the animal at once ceases to breathe. Not only does 
the thorax become motionless, but also the whole body below 
the section. (It is clear that if the section be above the second or 
first vertebra or at the very starting-point of the spinal marrow, 6gj 
the animal immediately perishes.) If beyond the sixth vertebra, 
all the muscles of the thorax become motionless immediately 
and the animal breathes in only by means of the diaphragm. 
Transverse sections below this vertebra permit other parts of 
the thorax to move. For the largest pair of the higher muscles 
[pectoralis major], which has two origins for each of its nerves 
[lateral and medial pectoral nerves], receives the branch of the 
greater one as a rule beyond the sixth vertebra [namely from 
C.7 in ape but from C.6 in man]. For this reason sections of 
the spinal marrow after the seventh vertebra leave both pairs of 
muscles working, and even more those after the eighth or ninth. 
For the muscles receive the other starting-points of the nerves 
also and take over the activity at the back of the membranous 
muscles as well, and the animal is seen inhaling with both parts 



6^8 of the thorax, the upper and lower, unless it needs to breathe 
only slightly, for then the diaphragm alone suffices for it. The 
further you advance towards the lower vertebrae the more muscles 
of the thorax you will leave active. Yet the sixth pair of nerves 
from the brain is not seen contributing to the work of respira^ 
tion, because no part of it enters any muscle of the thorax. 
For this reason, when the origins of the other nerves are all cut 
and this alone is preserved, the animal ceases to breathe im/ 
mediately, as it gets no help from it. However, this does not 
happen to the pair of nerves entering the phrenes [dia^ 
phragm\\ when all the other nerves are destroyed the animal 
breathes with diaphragm alone, the movement in these parts of 
the thorax being plainly visible. 

Chapter lo 

[How to see the Site and Movement of the Pleura] 

6^8 Since anatomists have made investigations about the way in 
which the breath filters through into the region between the 
thoracic wall and the lungs, it is now time to mention the 
experiments in dissection useful for this. The removal of the rib 
by excision is an old-fashioned device, affording no clear means 

% of decidmg the question, for some say they see the lungs joined 
to the thoracic wall and some that it is separated from it. This 
is because of the density of the membranes under the ribs that 
are cut out. I, however, obtained a clearer view by not stopping 
at excising the rib, but removing along with it one of the 
surrounding membranes [periosteum] before excision; for when 
this is removed the pleura is left single and alone. This allows 
a clear view through it, so that all admit they see plainly the 
lung in contact with the thorax. A still better view is obtain/ 
able through the diaphragm, when it is exposed after the cap 
of peritoneum has been removed. 

The operation must be carried out as follows: with the 
animal lying on its back, sever all the muscles in the abdomen 



by the end of the false ribs, keeping the peritoneum uncut. It 
has been remarked [p. 136] that the aponeuroses from the fourth 
pair of muscles there [transversi ahdominis] are united with the 
peritoneum. When you have stopped cutting, leaving the yoo 
aponeuroses uncut, the peritoneum should be stripped off 
below from the phrenes [diaphragm], the aponeuroses being 
no longer stretched out along with these. 

This is easily accomplished by using both hands without a 
scalpel, and the job is much more easily done with the animal 
alive than dead. For the tissues that can be separated from one 
another by excoriation are chilled at death and become more 
difficult to separate. In that case when you strip off the peri/ 
toneum from the sinewy part of the P H r E N e s , you will pull the 
stomach down and draw away the parts on either hand to the 
side towards the fleshy part of the diaphragm. If in addition you 
draw upwards the parts by the ensiform cartilage, and stretch 
the parts by the last rib broadways (if necessary making trans/ 
verse incisions in the muscles of the abdomen at each flank) you 
will render the sinewy part of the diaphragm easy to examine. 

All are in full agreement that the lungs are moulded here to 

the shape of the thorax at this point, that they never leave it, 701 

and that they always cling to it in both phases of the act of 

respiration, inhaling and exhaling. These observations support 

the view of Erasistratus^^ (who thinks no air issues from the 

lungs) but it conflicts with what I am now going to say. For 

when the diaphragm is thus exposed, if you kill the animal at 

once, the lungs are seen to be at a distance from the P h r e N E s . ^ 

And while there are many ways in which an animal may die, 

you will observe the lungs very far separated from the P h R E N e s 

however you kill it. So having choked the animal, sometimes 

by drowning, sometimes by strangling, or by an incision made 

in the spinal cord at the first vertebra, or by cutting through 

large arteries or veins, I have observed the lungs gradually 

withdrawing from the diaphragm while the animal was 

When a rib is excised the same thing is visible, especially to 



one who has observed beforehand that in a living animal the 

702 lungs are applied to the thoracic wall but that after death they 

are withdrawn therefrom. The appearance of the lungs shows 

that the air in them has emptied into the space between them 

and the thorax [i.e. the pleural cavity]. Moreover, while the 

animal is still alive, when the bone of the rib has been excised, 

an empty space is seen between both organs at the ends of the 

lobes and specially when the animal inhales more deeply, for 

with sHght inhalations it is sometimes not perceptible at all, and 

in other cases seems quite small. If you want the space to appear 

larger, make the animal run before dissecting it, so that the rib 

is cut out while it is panting, for the size of the empty space 

always increases along with the extent of the inhalation. It 

would appear even larger after the animal has run rapidly, if 

you paralyse its diaphragm by cutting the nerves that belong to 

it, for then it is compelled to inhale with the aid of the inters 

costal muscles and the thorax is clearly seen moving at a greater 

There is another experiment which is thought to show that 
some of the air filters through to the thorax [i.e. pleural cavity] 
from the lungs. Prepare in advance a bladder with a mouth of 
suitable size. Then cut the skin over the ribs in a circle, so that 
the area of the cut is the same size as the mouth of the bladder. 
Then excise the rib in the way described. Next sew the bladder to 
the Hp of the wound, putting the mouth of the bladder under^' 
neath all round, so that the skin is outside. Now seal the holes 
made in it with a needle and thread and some plastic substance 
like that called *moist plaster',^'^^ or a liquid preparation of 
wax. There is now no perceptible gap between thread and skin, 
for what escapes the eye is safely closed with the wax prepara/ 
tion so that no air can pass in from the surrounding atmosphere, 
nor from the inside out. Now perforate the bladder at its end and 
J04 insert through the hole a scalpel with a round handle, so that, 
when a suture is put round the bladder outside, its membrane 
is tied round the handle of the scalpel so that nothing can escape 
between it and the bladder and handle. For this purpose again 



use the preparation of wax. Then incise the pleura with the 
scalpel and observe how through the incision air percolates 
from the thorax into the bladder during exhalation. During 
inhalation, when the thorax is distended you will see this air 
once more drawn into the thorax through the incision, and 
then again passing into the bladder as the animal exhales, and 
from it again entering the thorax. And you will see the air 
increasing in quantity at each breath and the bladder becoming 
completely filled by it.^^^ 

Objections may be raised respecting this phenomenon on 
two grounds. It may be said either that some air filters through 
along the thread, a larger quantity coming in from outside with 70$ 
inhalation, and less passing out from within during exhalation. 
Or again that the membrane surrounding the lungs is severed 
along with the pleura. This does sometimes happen, for it is 
difficult, when the lungs are always joined to the thorax, to per^ 
forate the one organ while keeping the other intact. You will 
discover this after the death of the animal by exposing the lungs. 
As to the possibility that something filters between thread and 
skin into the bladder from the surrounding air, it raises a tire/ 
some controversy and needs to be refuted at greater length. 

It is unnecessary to have recourse to such arguments when the 
matter is proved by other concrete evidence. To setde the ques/ 
tion before us we must not make any use of such a method of 
handling, when what has been described a little before plainly 
proves that some air escapes from the lungs. For invariably with 
animals that have been killed in any way, if, as I have said, you 
excise a rib and expose the diaphragm, the lungs are seen at a 706 
distance from the thorax, while this could not be so unless some 
breath filtered through from the lungs into the open space of the 

B. 2353 



On the Brain 

Chapter i 

[Dissecting the Brain] 

7(^7 How the phenomena revealed in the brain and cord can best 
be observed in the dead and the living respectively will be made 
clear in this book. The anatomy of the dead teaches the posi/ 
tion, number, proper substance, size, and construction of the 
parts. That of the living may reveal the functions at a glance or 

yo8 provide premisses for deducing them. Obviously, then, opera/ 
tion on the dead should precede that on the living, for it can be 
performed on an organ either detached or still an integral part 
of the body. 

The first dissectional operation on the brain that I shall 
explain will be that made when the bones of the skull have 
been removed, leaving intact its covering meninx. Whether 
you call [this membrane] *thick' (as I do now) or *hard*, or 
*cuticular', and that under it ^delicate', or *soft', or *membra/ 
nous', will neither help nor hinder the science of anatomy. For 
the gain from dissection is knowledge of the nature of the parts, 
not the names by which they are called. 

Ox brains, ready prepared and stripped of most of the cranial 
parts, are generally on sale in the large cities. If you think more 
bone than necessary adheres to them, order its removal by the 
butcher who sells them. If he be not there, do so yourself, using 
strong knives for excision or carpenters' adzes, such as you see 
709 I keep ready. The instruments of this kind are best made of hard 
iron, for those made of soft will become useless after repeated 
strokes. But I would not that the skull be violendy and re/ 
peatedly hit, for such blows shake the soft brain, shattering and 
disintegrating it. You must prepare it for examination without 



any accident of the kind, so that all the origins of nerves be 
observed with precision, as well as the arteries and veins and the 
partition between the front cavities and parts round the so^ 
called PYELOS (trough) or chone (funnel) \infundihulum\ 
and suchlike structures. 

When the part is suitably prepared, you will see the dura 
mater appearing much thicker in the middle line than in 
general, and dipping a litde way just where Hes the median 
suture. So also under the lambdoid suture you will see the dura 710 
mater doubling itself and penetrating some distance into the 
brain. You will see veins coming up through it, along the 
lambdoid suture, one on either side. Where these meet at a point 
is roughly the most prominent region. 

The front and back parts of the brain differ, the front being 
much greater.* [A sentence missing here to the effect that the 
dura is twice as thick near the highest part of the sagittal sinus as 
elsewhere on the convex surface.] Towards this highest point the 
second doubling of the dura mater is formed, so that in thickness 
it appears four times as thick as all the other parts of the mem^ 
brane that gird the brain. 

In addition to the two already mentioned [at the lambdoid 
suture], there extends along the brain moving forward a third 
Vein*, for what other name can you call such a vessel seen to 
contain blood ? For when the brain is exposed by trephining 
(as we usually do for a cranial fracture) you will observe blood 
in these cavities in the living, and in the dead a clot. Moreover, jn 
these cavities do not have the coat of the veins which join them 
through the bones of the head; for when the veins reach the 
skull the dura mater is doubled, while the space within [the 
skull] becomes merely tubular, being a vessel for keeping the 
blood in the same state as it was received. 

To observe this properly, have ready a long slender instru/ 
ment like that called dipyrenon (double probe) of wood — 
either of box or something as solid. Insert this into the cavities 
of the membrane, pushing it where there is no resistance and 
* Reading MEizoN for MEGETHEI. 



cutting through the meninx over it to meet the wood. If this 
be not possible, insert into the cavity of the meninx a dipy/ 
RENON, a SMILE, or a SPATHOMELE by the end that has 
no rounded knob.^''^ Thrust it forward into the cavity and cut 
slantwise, sloping the instrument inserted on each side towards 
the other part so that you may not break the scalpel by running 
up against it and may reach the cavity. 

In stripping the surrounding bones from the folds of the 
meninx some part [of the meninx] is often torn and pulled 
away. This will be the spot for the insertion of an instrument 
into the blood/containing cavity \sims\. But, if it be not torn 
then, with a sharp scalpel, cut each side of the fold of mem/ 
brane in the parts beneath where it first reaches (empiptei) 
the skull and then, introducing the scalpel through the incision, 
force it up to the junction where the two veins meet the region 
that Herophilus [is said to] call the torcular (lenos) [Fig. 
25]. The part to which he really gives this name is deeper, but 
on the surface there is another complex of small veins, lying 
along the *torcular'.^'^^ Its narrow calibre no longer admits the 
olive of the probe, and therefore in small brains it is either 
/ij indistinct or invisible. Try then to introduce one of the other 
olivary probes or ear/'probes and make an incision along it. 

The delicate superficial process of the meninx already men/ 
tioned arises where the lambdoid suture meets the squamous 
[part of the temporal] bone. So first cut these superficial veins 
as far as the torcular, that is on the surface. Having cut this, 
empty out any clot in these [vessels] and then observe how very 
like the inner surface of the membrane is to the substance of the 
veins, except for its delicacy. No wonder that Nature does not 
need to extend the coat of the vein bringing blood up to the 
cavities of the dura, since the two trunks (so mat a) are of like 


Chapter 2 

[Membranes and Veins of Brain] 

Next you must observe the delicate veins issuing on either side 7^3 
of the torculars. Some are quite small and admit no more than 
a hair, but some are larger. You will see those from the smaller 
[superficial] torcular dispersing on the surface to the neighbour/ 
ing parts of the surface of the brain. Those veins from the 
greater [torcular] in the depths^^^ disperse into the whole back 
part of the brain, called by some enkranion, and also into 714 
the front part. (It makes no difference whether you call the back 
part of the brain enkranion (cerehellum) or parenke/ 
p HAL IS.) Into it veins extend from those that pass into the 
[deep] torcular along the sides and from the lambdoid suture 
and from the [superficial] torcular itself; they have the coat that 
is proper to a vein, like the veins throughout the animal. Even 
before they plunge into the main mass of the brain you will see 
them plainly springing from the veins at the meninx, unless you 
happen to have torn them apart.* 

The blood reaches the brain itself, which some call 'anterior 
brain', through the dura mater that cleaves the brain into two 
equal divisions in the middle line [falx cerebri]. Thence veins 
in numbers are distributed through its whole length into both 
halves of the brain. 

All [these vessels] are small except two. One of these is from 
the torcular, branching into the front part deep down along the 
whole head [inferior sagittal sinus]. How you are to find it I 7^5 
shall explain a litde later. 

The second [vein of Galen, great cerebral vein] is much larger 
and not very near the torcular, nor very distant either, roughly 
in the middle of the*brain' (enkephalon. I give this name 
to the compound formed from both the back and front parts). 
This vein plunges vertically into the depths, where it breaks 
up into many branches. However, this does not happen to 

* In the text this sentence is displaced and precedes that which in the transla^ 
tion precedes it. 



it at its origin from the meninx but when it has passed for/ 
ward to a certain point not far off. 

You will observe all these things before dividing the brain and 
with the dura mater only laid bare. You can expose it at three 
places, since it divides the whole brain into three with its folds 
[ix,falx and tentorium]. Pull it by the incisions, separating with 
your finger the left and right parts, which cover the brain in 
front, and also the remaining part, with which it covers the back 
part of the brain. You will thus see the origins of the veins dis^ 

ji6 persed into the three parts of the brain. Some are on the surface 
so that their divisions are visible. Some descend into the depths. 

The delicate membrane binding together the veins surround/ 
ing the brain on the outside descends with them to the cavity 
within. People call this the 'delicate meninx' [pia mater] from 
old habit, the name meninx being somehow now reserved for 
the membranes round the brain. For our predecessors used to 
call all membranes meninges, not only these brain mem/ 
branes, as you may learn from many treatises written by them, 
and not least from those of Hippocrates ^^"^ and Diocles."^^ These 
Marinus^^ also mentioned in his work De anatomia. The pia 
mater can always be observed to embrace the brain and to 
accompany it in the depths, but the dura mater you will see at 
quite a distance from it. How great that distance is you will 
be able to gauge if you make a small opening at one of the three 

717 parts into which it cleaves the brain, and introduce therein the 
point of a tube like those for 'goldsmiths' bellows' that you see I 
keep ready. (This is the name they give, as you know, to the 
instruments with which they blow in kindling the fire.) If you 
introduce the point of the tube into the incision and bind the 
meninx tightly round it and blow through it, you will see the 
region beneath fill with air. This meninx, the dura mater, under/ 
girds the skull, but the brain, expanding and contracting, ap/ 
proaches and withdraws from [the skull] in the empty space 
between. But about this I shall speak shortly in the experiment 
on living animals. In the present discourse let us keep to the 
natural order of things. 


Chapter 3 

[Chorioid Plexus and Pineal Gland] 

After the surrounding parts have been examined it is now time 717 
to dissect the brain itself. Start from the membrane that bisects 
the front part [falx cerehri]. Cut or tear away from it the 
branches of the veins towards the side, beginning from the 718 
front and raise it with your fingers until you reach the large 
vein springing from it, which, we said, runs vertically down 
to the depth [^reat cerebral vein]}'^^ Raise this too and give it 
to someone else to hold. Then yourself separate the two parts of 
the brain, sundering them gendy with your fingers till you reach 
a previously mentioned vein of considerable size extended 
lengthwise [inferior longitudinal sinus]. 

With the sight of this vein its function is revealed, for it 
obviously sends forth on either side delicate branches dispersed 
into the brain. Remove the vein from the underlying tissues, 
and either cut it out as far as the torcular, or isolate it to the 
point where it issues therefrom and lay it down on these parts. 

Examine the region exposed. It is like a callus, so that there 
appears to be a natural hollow there which receives from the 7^9 
overlying and surrounding tissues incompletely concocted 
nutriment (which has the special name 'residues*, perit/ 
TOMATA, and there is nothing against this term [p. 151]). 
Gently continuing the dissection you will find what look like 
slender passages reaching as far as the middle ventricle of the 
brain. The dissection here must, I say, be gende because of 
the top of the septum which rises to this point and partitions the 
ventricles. It is time to examine it. 

Slice straight cuts on both sides of the midline down to 
the ventricles. You will recognize them because the corpus 
callosum differs very plainly from the severed brain substance. 
You will see in the ventricles what is called the *chorioid 
plexuses' (choroeide plegmata). The followers of 
Herophilus call it a *chorioid concatenation' (choroeide 
sustremmata), of course taking the name from the outer 



membrane of the foetus. It is a plexus of veins and arteries held 
']2o together by delicate membranes. (So too the component parts 
of the brain itself are a complex of veins and arteries, bound 
together by the pia mater which is of the same substance as the 
other delicate membranes, namely those in the embryo, the 
pleura, the peritoneum and all such membranes.) Extend [the 
gap] gently with your hands, so as not to break the plexus, and 
observe the veins that move downward from above and divide 
and the arteries from below that correspondingly move upwards 
and divide. 

Try to preserve the plexus unharmed here so that later you 
may follow it when you expose the parts and may observe 
clearly the veins in the ventricles. These all branch from the 
vessel \yma magna cerehri] that we said moved downwards 
and reached the brain, while the arteries run up from the two 
others out of the lower parts [carotids]. You will make a more 
accurate examination of these as the operation proceeds. 

The corpus callosum and chorioid plexus serve as landmarks 

721 for the first cut into each ventricle. Try immediately to examine 
the membrane that divides right from left ventricle [septum 
lucidum]. It has a nature like that of the brain as a whole and is 
thus easily broken if stretched too vigorously. For it is so delicate 
that if the dissection be made in a good light, the light will 
shine through as with those translucent stones cut in thin layers 
and put in windows. Hence you must not elevate it roughly 
lest it be rent, and yet it cannot be plainly seen without raising it. 

The upper border [of the septum] is naturally joined to the 
severed tissues — perhaps I should say united thereto. You must 
therefore grasp the severed parts with care and bend them towards 
the other ventricle, laying them on the top of the septum. Thus 
the exposed ventricle will be easier to see, and the septum 
raised but moderately, as is necessary.* 

722 Before the septum is fully raised it is slack and wrinkled, and 
neither transmits light nor displays its relations. But when raised 
to tautness, and yet not torn, it will be clearly evident. If you 

* Reading DEOMETHA for DOMETHA. 



now remove it with the parts united with it as far as the inci/ 
sions, you will see the ventricles more clearly. Also the vein 
running vertically downwards [vena magna cerebri] can be seen 
dividing round a body like a pine cone (k o n o E i d E s) [pineal]. 
A delicate membrane [tela chorioidea], like in substance and 
continuous with the pia mater, binds the branching veins, as 
well as all the others. It conceals the pineal body which cannot 
be seen till you have torn it apart a litde, for this membrane lies 
as a support to the veins split off from the great vein [vena magna 7^3 
cerebri] which runs downwards.* How to lay bare this body I 
shall explain a little later. I add only that anatomists call the 
cone/like body (konoeides soma) also konarion. 

[This body] rests in the cleft of the vein and is hidden until 
the membrane is severed. Sever it [the membrane] gently with/ 
out raising the conarium forcibly along with it. For if it be torn 
away from the underlying tissues the operation will suffer in an 
important respect which I shall later explain. 

As the heart is bared of the coat surrounding it, so you must 
lay bare the conarium. Sever the surrounding membrane [tela 
chorioidea] with a straight cut from the base toward the apex. 
Then strip off the membrane along with the [internal cerebral] 
veins on either side of the pineal gland. Bend it [the conarium] 
towards the incision (di aire sis), so that it may be at once 
laid bare as it approaches the part opposite the slit cover. This 
done it is now possible, before exposing the region between 7^4 
pineal and ventricles, for you to perceive that both veins come 
from the division of the vein to the chorioid plexus, not but 
what you will realize clearly that they proceed from there if 
you lay bare the body lying between. 

Chapter 4 

[The Fornix] 

Give me your attention while I explain how you must expose 724 
it. The part covered by this tissue is no indifferent part of the 

* Here two lines of repetition. 



brain but a third ventricle. It is over and above those already 
mentioned earlier which the septal membrane parts and sepa^ 
rates. Expose it at the very spot where the veins issue as if from 
holes [interventricular foramina] and enter the anterior ventricles; 
for at these same holes the middle region is perforated to com^ 
municate with the anterior ventricles. 

You must put the knob of a probe or flat part of a spathion or 
of a spatulary probe gently underneath at both holes and raise 
the body [anterior column of fornix] resting on the veins high up. 
For if you do this at each hole the instruments will meet and 

725 this body will be visible which Hes on the veins passing through 
in concealment like a kind of arch [fornix] in a domed 
(sPHAiROEiDEs) building. Such things are popularly called 
not arches (p s A L i D E s) but domes (k A M A R A i) . Accordingly 
this body has been called *arch/like' (ps alidoeides) by 
those who have observed it. But some who have not, deny that 
this arch/like body exists, and some, under misapprehension, 
think that this is the name of the structure above the septum 
[that is, the corpus callosum]. But whereas the latter [corpus 
callosum] is not called arch4ike, this is really worthy of that 

If you cut it [fornix], you will see a callus (tylon) here 
like that in the anterior ventricles at the base. Moreover, the 
veins which go through the cavity [of the ventricle] are sup^ 
ported at the base and in the curvature of the fornix itself The 
convex part is on the outside and the concave — like the ceiling 
of an arch — on the inside. [It can be seen] only when the 
overlying structures — by which it is supported up to the fold 
in the meninx — have been removed. 

726 If you notice how, while the animal is still alive, all parts of 
the dura are attached to the skull but to the brain only those 
parts at the folds, you will readily believe that the top of the 
fornix is kept raised, producing a large hollow beneath. So 
too, the anterior ventricles being still larger, the whole top 
of the septum lucidum (diaphragma) is necessarily raised 
high with the tissues continuous with it. 



The septum [lucidum] cannot be a support and buttress of 
the tissues above it, for it is extremely soft and deUcate. Even if 
it had but one of these qualities, it could not have borne the 
w^eight of the least part of the brain lying above. Its function, 
however, accords with its name, for it separates the anterior 
ventricles; it does not support the overlying tissues. These 
ventricles have no supporting prop (nor has that which is to 
follow), but by hanging suspended the overlying structures 
maintain the empty space of the three ventricles. This space is 
necessarily destroyed in dissection, because the structures above 
fall down as I said earlier. 

There is a large duct (p o R o s) below in the base of this third 727 
ventricle which receives the waste products from the anterior 
ventricles by the holes [interventricular foramina] already men/ 
tioned and there is another [duct] from the tissues above also.^"^^ 
These [ducts] conjoin in the ventricles where the veins from the 
conarium enter it. Those ignorant of this ventricle are naturally 
unaware also of the duct extending backwards [aqueduct] 
whereby the conarium is supported, and if it is bared of the 
surrounding veins and broken off at the base, a hole is seen 
there high up. This, to put it plainly, is like a chimney, though 
the brain has no exhalation of its own to be sent through such 
an elevated passage. Its orifice can transmit no surrounding air, 
since the great mass of the cerebrum lies on it and over that the 
dura which is itself double and over that again the skull. Thus 
Nature would have made this hole purposely forsooth, though 
she never does aught in vain!^'^^ 

Those who set about dissection in the wrong spirit introduce 728 
such errors not only into the actual process, but into the theory 
of Nature. It necessarily follows that just as the uses of parts 
really observed in dissection are marvellous, so if they be wrongly 
observed, it is impossible to give a [consistent] account of their 

But with you, when you have exposed properly all the parts 
under discussion, you will observe the third ventricle between 
the two anterior ventricles with the fourth behind it. You will 



see the duct on which the pineal gland is mounted passing to 
the ventricle in the middle, so that at the hole there are two 
[ducts] of some size. One leads back to the cerebellum. If 
through this you introduce a double olivary probe or spatula 
probe, you will find that it ends in the ventricle behind. The 
other, that at the bottom of the ventricle, leads downward [to 
the infundihulum]. But the pineal gland, when freed of sur^ 
rounding tissues and left resting on the duct, usually falls down 
yzp instead of standing up, as when it was enveloped by the mem/ 
branes and vessels. Generally it sinks backwards as it falls. 

Chapter 5 

[Corpora Quadrigemina and Vermis] 

729 The pineal gland is received, as it falls, by gendy rounded 
tissues which have outlines of their own, though they are parts 
of the brain and have the same substance as it. Some call them 
from their shape nates (glouta [buttocks]), and they call 
others 'twins' (didymia), for so they call the testicles 
(oRCHEis) DiDYMOi to be seemly. 

This duct [aqueductus cerehri] then, which passes through 
from the middle into the posterior [fourth] ventricle and lies 
between the nates, is covered by its proper coat of the same sort of 
substance as the meninx linking together all the vessels in the 
brain. Wherefore carefully seek to remove from it the tissues 
lying above; realizing that it will be torn asunder if you are 
careless. There lies on it a part of the brain shaped like the 
worm that grows in wood. Thence the name Vermiform pro/ 
cess' by which name anatomists call this structure covering the 

750 duct. You will observe that it has two ends, the anterior near 
the pineal gland, while the posterior is not visible, because there 
rests on it the whole upper substance of the back of the cere/ 
brum. Take hold of the hind end of this, near the origin of the 
spinal marrow, and try to bring it forward, rolling it, as it 
were, until you see another worm/like body. When you find it, 



remove gradually the greater part of the tissues lying above so 
that only those on the duct are left. These end doubly on each 
side in a form resembling the worms mentioned before. Here 
you will see delicate strands binding the vermiform process at 
the front to the parts of the brain lying beside the nates on either 
side. Some anatomists call them 'tendons'. 

When you have finished handling each end of the vermiform 
process in turn, move the whole body forward and backward. 
I mean by *whole' what I said a litde earlier Hes on the duct 751 
with a vermiform end at either side. Then notice how, when it 
is bent towards the front, the posterior ventricle, the fourth, is 
exposed, and when it is moved backwards the larger part of the 
ventricle is covered and only that part is visible which Hero/ 
philus likened to the groove of a pen for writing. It is really Kke 
a pen, with a hollow like an incision [posterior median sulcus] in 
the middle, and on either side of this each of the side parts 
[eminentia facialis] stretching as far up as they rise in pens from 
the line in the middle. The pens we write with are grooved in 
this way particularly in Alexandria. Herophilus lived there, 
so it is natural, of course, that when he was operating he 
applied the name, being induced to do so by the likeness in the 
image [Fig. 26]. 


The letter K refers to C. G. KUhns edition of the works of Galen. It is followed by 
the number of the volume in roman with that of the pa^e in arable figures. 

(1) Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, bom at Rome, a.d. 121, was the adopted 
son of the Emperor Antoninus Pius whose daughter Faustina he married. He 
succeeded his adoptive father in 161, and died in Pannonia in 180. Galen's 
De anatomicis administrationibus libri duo (note 3), written between 164 and 165, 
was a different work from that here translated. 

(2) Flavins Boethus was an adherent of the Peripatetic philosophy. He is 
mentioned several times by Galen whose demonstrations to him may be dated 
March 164. Boethus, with his wife and son, were Galen's patients. He became 
governor of Palestine in 165, and died in or before a.d. 169. 

(3) Galen's De anatomicis administrationibus libri duo has not survived. See 
note I. 

(4) *Now' is about a.d. 177, the approximate date at which Galen gave the 
lectures of which the present work is the expanded shorthand report. 

(5) Galen's De Hippocratis et Erasistrati anatomice in three books was written 
in Rome when he was 34, c. a.d. 164. It has not survived. It is quoted in Galen's 
De libris propriis. 

(6) Galen's De vivorum dissectione has not survived. It is mentioned frequently 
in his works. A spurious medieval work with that title appears in some collected 
editions of Galen. 

(7) Galen's De mortuorum dissectione has not survived. 

(8) Galen's De causis respirationis is printed in K. iv. 465-9. 

(9) Galen's De voce has not survived, unless it be represented by the fragment 
printed by Chartier (vol. iv, pp. 219-22), but not reprinted by Kiihn. 

(10) Galen's De usu partium corporis humani libri XVII is his best known and 
most complete anatomical work. It was written between a.d. 169 and 175. A 
Latin abridgement of it was made late in the thirteenth century, and a full Latin 
translation direct from the Greek by Nicholas of Reggio was made c. 13 10. It 
became the standard source of anatomical knowledge from the thirteenth until 
the sixteenth century. It was then amplified by the publication of the newly dis^ 
covered De anatomicis administrationibus and soon after displaced by the work of 



Vesalius (1543), who based his own researches on these two treatises of Galen. 
The text o(De usu is printed in K. iii and K. iv. 1-366. There is a French transla/ 
tion by Charles Daremberg, and the Greek work is now being rendered into 
English by Mrs. May of Cornell University. 

(11) Galen's De thoracis et pulmonis motu has not survived. 

(12) This was in a.d. 159. Pelops was a Dogmatist and exponent of the 
humoral pathology. He had a controversy with Philippus the Empiric. See R. 
Walzer, Galen On Medical Experience ^ Oxford, 1944. Pelops wrote several books 
on anatomy which, as we learn from Galen, were burned. Later, other works 
were passed off as his. He held at one time that nerves, arteries, and veins all 
arise from the brain. 

(13) Satyrus, the first anatomical teacher of Galen, worked at Pergamum. 
His works have disappeared. He is known to have written commentaries on 

(14) Of Quintus we learn here and elsewhere from Galen that he was the 
pupil of Marinus, and the teacher of Satyrus and Numisianus, that he wrote 
nothing, that he did not follow 'Hippocrates' exactly, and that for some reason 
he was expelled from Rome. 

(15) Numisianus, anatomist and exponent of Hippocrates, wrote anatomical 
works, now lost, setting forth the theories of Satyrus. There survives a fragment 
of a commentary by him on the 'Hippocratic' Epidemics ^ from which it has been 
inferred that, like Pelops (note 12), he belonged to the Dogmatist School. 
Among his pupils in anatomy were Galen and Pelops. 

(16) Eudemus the Peripatetic was, as we learn from Galen, K. xiv. 605, 
615-18, author of a work On prognosis. Nothing else is known of him. 

(17) Alexander of Damascus — to be distinguished from Alexander of 
Aphrodisias — became Professor of Peripatetic Philosophy in Athens about 
176. He was the teacher in philosophy of Boethus (note 2). Later Galen seems 
to have quarrelled with him and regarded him as malevolent, K. xiv. 627-9. 

(18) Sergius Paulus became Governor of Rome in or about 165. He remained 
in office till about 178. He can hardly be the same as the rhaetor, a patient of 
Galen mentioned in his commentary Hippocratis de acutorum morhorum victu, 
K. XV. 565. 

(19) In fact the sterna of apes are not the flattest of the animals that Galen 
had dissected. The sternum of the pig, for example, is relatively much flatter, 
but the misstatement illustrates the point that Galen's knowledge of bones was 
based mainly on human material. 



(20) Galen's De ossihus ad tirones, printed in K. ii. 732-778, is the only suu 
viving anatomical work of antiquity based directly on human material. As 
its title implies, it is elementary. The translator has published an English version 
of this work in Proc. Roy. Soc. Med., 1952, xlv (Sect. Hist. Med.), pp. 25-34. 

(21) Evidence that some human material at least was still systematically used 
for instruction in the last third of the second century. 

(22) Galen does not make clear here what species of ape he dissected. He 
certainly used more than one. He preferred the Barbary ape (Macaca inuus) but 
it is probable that he relied chiefly on the Rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta). 

(23) In the Barbary ape the neck of the femur is more transverse than in the 
Rhesus and forms with the shaft an angle of about 100°. In the adult human 
male this angle is about 125°, but varies in inverse proportion to the width of the 
pelvis and the height of the individual. It is less in females than in males. The 
angle, in human beings at least, is widest in infancy and decreases during growth. 
See Fig, 7. 

(24) This is notably the case with the outer hamstring tendon, that of the 
biceps femoris. The crural insertion of this muscle in Macaca mulatta extends about 
half'-way down the shaft of the tibia. On the inner side the insertion of the 
gracilis, which is a robust muscle in apes, extends a considerable distance 
below the tibial collateral ligament [Figs. 16 and 17]. 

(25) The Empiric anatomists, against whom Galen constantly tilts, were 
content to gain their anatomical knowledge in the course of surgical practice. 
They regarded dissection of apes as useless. 

(26) A hint that human dissection was still being occasionally practised. 

(27) It is impossible to identify the disease here called anthrax. It was 
certainly not what we now call by that name. The word means primarily 'char/ 
coal': hence 'dark substances' or 'dark patches'; compare Latin carhunculus from 
carho, charcoal. 

(28) Costunius Rufinus is not mentioned elsewhere in classical writings. The 
name kostounios is perhaps a scribal misreading for the abbreviation of 
k[oint]osiounios. Another possible identification is with aROUPHiNOS 
often mentioned on dedicatory inscriptions at Pergamum. 

(29) Galen's De musculonm dissectione ad tirones, K. xviii, pt. ii. 926-1026. 

(30) Lycus ofMacedon (died c. a.d. 170, see pp. 6, iii, 127 of translation), 
a pupil of Quintus (note 14), was an Empiric. Galen had an especial dislike 
for him. He wrote extensively and composed a book on muscles. In it he missed 
the pterygoid and also certain neck muscles. See pp. 107-8 of translation. He had 
his own theory of renal secretion. None of his works survives. See note 98. 



(31) In apes the plantaris muscle is relatively stronger and more fleshy 
than in man, extending in the Rhesus to the lowest quarter of the leg. Its tendon 
passes through a groove in the tendo Achillis, over the tuber calcanei, to be 
continued as the plantar aponeurosis. The belly of the plantaris in apes is with 
difficulty separated from the fleshy part of the gastrocnemius lateralis. 

(32) Marinus (f. c. a.d. 100) taught anatomy at Alexandria. Galen men^ 
tions him several times. He wrote (a) a practical manual of dissections; (h) a 
general anatomy in twenty books, the source of much of Galen's knowledge, 
see page 230; (c) a work on the series of nerve roots; {d) an account of the 
muscles. He treated the foramina of the skull in detail and discovered the nerves 
of voice. Quintus was his pupil. None of the works of Marinus survives but 
there is a good account of them in Galen's De lihris propriis, K. xix. 25-30. 

(33) There is no such reference in the recognized text of De usu partium 
Galen may be referring to another version of that work, as he did in De 
seniine. Book II, ch. 6; K. iv. 643. 

(34) This work cannot be identified. 

(35) Galen throughout describes as 'inner' or 'inside' what we call the 
anterior or flexor aspect, and as 'outer' or 'outside' what we call the posterior or 
extensor aspect. 

(36) In the Rhesus and allied forms the pisiform bone is elongated and 
tipped with cartilage. 

(37) In the Rhesus the extensor digitorum communis sends tendons to all 
four fingers and there is, in addition, a separate extensor for each finger. Galen 
is clearly here describing the hand of an ape and not that of a man. 

(38) In the Rhesus and allied forms the external surface of the lower end of 
the radius is very deeply cleft for the tendon of the abductor pollicis longus. See 
Fig. 6. 

(39) It may be noted that in the Rhesus an extensor pollicis brevis is absent. 

(40) Galen's view that there was a class or sect the children of which were 
initiated into anatomical practice is fanciful. It is unsupported by evidence and 
is probably part of a legend of the Asclepiadae current at Pergamum. Yearning 
for a 'golden age' of anatomy under such disciples of Aesculapius is patent in 
the paragraphs that follow. 

(41) The idea that general philosophers studied anatomy is probably a ver^ 
sion of a well-known legend of Democritus (c. 460 -c. 370 B.C.), a contemn 
porary of Hippocrates. 

(42) Diodes (4th cent. B.C.), son of Archidamus of Carystos in Euboea, 
is quoted by Theophrastus (died 287 B.C.). He was regarded as the most 

B. 2363 




important representative of the 'Dogmatist' School and was known in Athens, 
where he lived, as 'the second Hippocrates'. None of his works has survived, 
though it is believed that passages from them are to be found in a Latin work 
bearing the name Vindiciams. There is an extensive account of Diodes by 
M. Wellmann in Paulyz-Wissowa. 

(43) This was indeed precisely what did happen. Galen was the last to 
practise anatomy for many centuries. 

(44) The gracilis muscle, in both ape and man, is in fact a flexor of the 
knee-joint and a medial rotator of the thigh when the knee is fixed in flexion. 
This passage, however, suggests that Galen had some access to human anatomy, 
for the gracilis is a relatively feeble muscle in man, as its name implies, but is 
very much stronger and more robust in the Rhesus. 

(45) The anterior superior spine of the ilium is obvious in the human 
skeleton but hardly if at all discernible in that of the ape. The anterior border 
of the ilium of the ape is relatively much longer than in man and almost 
straight. Galen knew the bones of both species and momentarily confuses 
them (Fig. 5). 

(46) 'Changing legs', that is pulling up the opponent's leg by bringing one's 
own into the 'tailor's position' behind his knee. 

(47) These sesamoids are always present in both Macaca mulatta and Semnoy 
pithecus entelks. They are rare in human subjects and when present occur usually 
in the lateral head only. 

(48) The flexor digitorum fibularis (in man, flexor hallucis) and the flexor 
digitorum tibialis (in man, flexor digitorum longus) in the Rhesus are relatively 
larger than in man. Their insertions in the ape are variable but differ from 
those in man. 

(49) The 'rings' were to change the direction of pull of the reins as the terrets 
in modern harness. The main insertion of the tibialis anterior, after passing 
through the transverse crural ligament, is into the medial and plantar aspects of 
the first cuneiform. A smaller tendon from the same muscle is inserted into the 
plantar aspect of the hallucial metacarpal. 

(50) This passage draws a distinction between the ape's foot and the human 
foot and might be expected to reveal some of Galen's experience of human 
anatomy. It is thus particularly unfortunate that the text is here disturbed. It 
would be worth a special attempt to restore it by appeal to the Greek manu^' 
scripts and to the Arabic translation. 

(51) I cannot attach anatomical meaning to this paragraph except that it 
refers to the quadratus plantae. 



(52) There are only three contrahentes in Macaca but four in Semnopithecus. 

(53) HoMOiOMERiA literally 'of similar parts'. The term is said to have 
been invented by Anaxagoras (c. 500-428 B.C.) who held that all matter was 
composed of similar particles. Galen doubdess derives it from Aristotle who 
uses it for those parts of the living body that were uniform. He thus means much 
what Bichat (who neglected the microscope) meant by tissu. The h o m o i o 
MERIA of Aristotle must be distinguished from organs or members, and 
approximate to what we mean by 'tissues', if we try to forget all knowledge 
brought to us by the microscope. 

(54) From the beginning of the chapter to this point is a rough summary of 
certain passages in Aristotle's Historia animalium and De partihus ammalium. 

(55) Erasistratus who flourished as an anatomist at Alexandria about 270 B.C. 
held that each organ contained a nexus of minute divisions of artery, vein, and 

(56) It is probably De Hippocratis et Erasistrati amtomice, for which see note 5. 
The physiology of Erasistratus can be gathered from Galen's De venae sectione 
adversus Erasistratum, K. xi. 147-249. 

(57) Galen uses the same word ne u r o n for both 'nerve' and 'tendon'. This 
is not due to confusion on his part but is based on a definite physiological theory. 
See Introduction, p. xix. 

(58) This passage is an expression of Aristotle's doctrine of 'mixture' of 
elements. See his De generatiom et corruptione, 334^22, and his Meteorologica, 

(59) The use of the word APOSKEMMAas equivalent to 'abscess' is peculiar 
to Galen and seems to have escaped the lexicographers. 

(60) The idea of foretelling as a means by which the physician may escape 
blame permeates Greek medicine. See notably the opening passage of the work 
in the Hippocratic Collection Praenotiones which is of about 400 B.C. PrO" 
G N o s I s has to be distinguished from p r o n o i a which is knowing about things 
before one is told — 'spot diagnosis' in modern medical parlance. 

(61) Owing to the practice of bloodletting, physicians before modern times 
attached more importance to the anatomy of veins than to that of arteries. Thus 
it was natural to speak of the 'companion artery' to a vein, where we reverse the 

(62) On the Methodist School, see Introduction, p. xvi. 

(63) The injury was clearly in the neighbourhood of the last cervical vertebra. 

244 NOTES 

(64) The quotation is from the work in the Hippocratic Collection De 
fractiSf opening of chapter 9. 

(65) Galen here, as often, uses 'roots' when we would say 'branches'. He 
thinks of sensory nerves as carrying something to the brain, as do roots to the 
stems of plants. 

(66) Assuming that this work was taken down in shorthand from the 
spoken word — as I believe to be the case — such a passage as this must have been 
added by Galen to the manuscript. 

(67) Quotation from the work in the Hippocratic Collection De articulis, 
ch. I. 

(68) Galen here as always describes the course of the veins as though blood 
flows through them towards the periphery. 

(69) Either the present chapter order is disturbed or an earlier reference to the 
six animal types is missing from the Greek text. 

(70) The superficial veins were highly important for ancient physicians and 
are always stressed by them. The regular scheme ascribed to these vessels by 
Galen can hardly be established by observation. 

(71) Galen is always on the look-out for differences and resemblances between 
simian and human anatomy. Nevertheless, the superficial veins are as variable 
in the one as in the other. 

(72) This and the previous paragraph suggest that occasional human dissect 
tion was normal. 

(73) Phlebotomists in all ages have been warned against the common accident 
of piercing the artery in this region. 

(74) An early trace of the traditional system of phlebotomy in which special 
veins are let for special pathological states. This passage may provide an explana/- 
tion of the term cephalic vein, which, however, reached Western anatomy not, as 
might be expected, from Greek but from or through Arabic sources. 

(75) I have not been able to trace this phrase of Hippocrates. 

(76) The pelvic nerve^'plexus and distribution of nerves in the leg are very 
different in man and in the Rhesus. 

(77) The sartorius in the Rhesus is a relatively slender muscle, especially in 
contrast with the robust gracilis. It is not innervated by the femoral nerve. 

(78) In apes the gluteus medius is much larger than the gluteus maximus. 



(79) Galen always allows his admiration for the hand, expressed in very great 
detail in his De usti partium, to mislead him into suggesting that the human 
hand is structurally further from the ape's than is the human foot from the 
ape's. The reverse is the case. 

(80) The correct form isMASETERES and is found in the 'Hippocratic' De 
articulisy xxx. There they are distinguished from the k r o t a p h i t a i or temporal 

(81) This odd statement concerning the crocodile is made by Herodotus 
(ii. 68): *He does not move his lower jaw, but brings the upper toward the 
lower, unlike all other creatures.' Basking crocodiles rest the lower jaw on the 
ground, raising the huge upper jaw (together with the small skull) and occa/ 
sionally snapping it down. The statement of Herodotus is repeated by Aristotle 
in the Historia animalium (492^23; 516^24) and De partihus animalium (660^27; 
691^5). In the latter work Aristotle comes near to the explanation of what seems 
an anatomical absurdity. 

(82) The extent and development of the platysma varies gready in different 
species of ape and even in individuals of the same species (Figs. 8, 11, 12). 

(83) I am uneasy as to the rendering by lynxes of the word lygkes used 
here and elsewhere by Galen but can suggest no alternative. 

(84) The mental foramina in apes are less regular than in man. See next 

(85) 'Near the end' (kat' akran, literally 'at the tip') suggests that there 
may be some confusion of the mental foramen with the foramen symphyseosum 
present in most apes but absent in man. 

(86) Galen is here speaking of sensory nerves, branches of the trigeminal, 
that emerge through the multiple mental foramina of the ape. They have no 
motor action such as he supposes. The muscles of the lower lip and chin are 
supplied by the slender mandibular branches of VII which pass forward across 
the masseter muscle. 

(87) De motihus duhiis. No book of this title by Galen is known. 

(88) Galen here makes an error as to the innervation of the lower lip similar 
to that which he has made for the upper lip. See note 86. 

(89) Galen, in discussing homogene and homoeide, has in mind the 
opening chapter of Aristotle's De generatione animalium, 715^23; compare 747^30. 

(90) Galen here describes the medial and lateral pterygoids as one muscle 
but omits the attachment of the lateral pterygoid to the neck of the mandible. 



(91) The Hippocratic De articulis, ch. 34, describes fracture at the symphysis. 
This, if it occurs at all, must be one of the rarest of injuries. I have found no 
statement in the Hippocratic Collection that the lower jaw is formed of two 

(92) In some species of ape the fusion of the two rami takes place later and 
less firmly than in others, but in all it is less firm than in man. 

(93) This refers to the insertion of the medial pterygoid between the angle 
and the mylohyoid groove of the mandible. 

(94) The description of the eye^muscles is lost from the Greek text. Galen's 
advice to anatomize the eyes of 'larger animals', notably of the ox, led to many 
misunderstandings, since the eyes of these animals have a very deep anterior 
chamber and thus the lens came to be regarded as in the centre of the eye. 

(95) In the Rhesus and allied species the auricular muscles have retained a 
close and primitive connexion with the platysma. In man, and in some other 
animals, this connexion has been broken. 

(96) This passage is interpretable if by hase of his right'-angled triangle Galen 
means not the hypotenuse but the lowest side of the triangle representing the 
trapezius muscle, and that he does not include in the trapezius the part below the 
level of the scapular spine. The reader should be warned that my interpretation 
of Galen's meaning here differs from that of Guenther of Andernach, Vesalius, 
and other anatomists of the Renaissance who worked over the text. See Fig. on 
p. 105. They were seeking analogies in the trapezius of man and did not know 
that in apes the muscle is divisible into a cervical and thoracic part. If the 
acromion of the ape be depressed and/or the scapula rotated till its spine 
be nearly at right angles to the middle line, the geometrical comparison becomes 
clear. See Fig. on p. 105 and passage on p. 116. 

(97) 'Nature makes naught in vain' is an Aristotelian catchphrase (De 
partihus anmalium, 661^24 and elsewhere). It fits well Galen's intense teleological 

(98) Galen's book Adversus Lycum survives, K. xviii, pt. i. 196-245. See 
Note 30. 

(99) Galen makes some confusion here, assuming that he was dissecting a 
macaque. In these animals the rhomboideus consists of three parts: (a) pars 
capitis inserted on vertebral border of scapula; (b) pars cervicis running between 
ligamentum nuchae and scapula; (c) pars dorsi from dorsal spines 1-7 to 

(100) Galen's book De motu musculorum survives, K. iv. 367-421. 

(101) See note 20. 

(102) The atlantoscapularis anterior in the Rhesus is a stout muscle arising 



from the posterior surface of the transverse process of the atlas and inserted on 
the lateral half of scapular spine and acromion as far as the clavicle. It adjoins 
the trapezius. 

(103) This refers doubtless to the atlantoscapularis posterior, a much smaller 
muscle than the former (note 102). There is, however, no reference to it in 
Book V. 

(104) This is, of course, an error of Galen. 

(105 ) This paragraph and the next are confusiug. The pectoralis major in 
the ape may reasonably be described as one, two, three, or even four muscles. 

(106) I cannot trace the meaning of this allusion to the Greek capital letters 
lambda and gamma, describing some flag-'like signal used in games. But 
umpires did use a forked wand resembling a lower^-case gamma (E. Norman 
Gardiner, Athletics of the Ancient World, Oxford, 1930, figs. 52, 173, 174). 

(107) The deltoid in the ape is separable to a variable degree of distinctness 
into cleidodekoid, acromiodekoid, and spinodeltoid portions. 

(108) The quotation is from the Hippocratic De articulis, ch. xiii. The sugges" 
tion of Galen seems to be that some anatomists have claimed that Hippocrates 
described an extra bone in the human shoulder. 

(109) This mention is not to be found in the Greek text. It was perhaps in a 
passage now missing at the foot of our page 120. 

(no) In the Greek text in its present state there is no further reference to these 

(in) The analogy may seem strange but was not in antiquity; compare 
Hast thou not poured me out as milk. 
And curdled me like cheese ; 
Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, 
And knit me together with bones and sinews. 

Job, X. lo^ii. 

Compare also Aristode, Meteorologica, 384^22-31. 

(112) Galen is here referring to a passage in Plato's Timaeus. The 'immortal 
soul' was situated in the head but the 'mortal soul' was divided into two parts 
by the diaphragm orPHRENES;an upper, where is seated the 'irascible soul' 
which assists reason against desire, and a lower, where the 'appetitive soul', that 
is the soul that desires, is chained below the diaphragm, far from the council 
chamber of the immortal soul. Should the barrier break down the sufferer would 
become phrenetikos, or frantic, being in a state of frenzy. 

(113) A difficulty of translation arises from the fact that our word diaphragm 
is singular but Galen's normal equivalent phrenes is plural. 

248 NOTES 

(114) HYPEZOKOS. The same word is used in Acts xxvii. 17 and is 
rendered 'undergird' in the Authorized Version. 

(115) I cannot trace this passage but one somewhat resembling it is in the 
Hippocratic De carnibus, ch. 5, Littre viii. 591. This work is probably of 
early Alexandrian date, say 200 B.C. Stoma chos is the Greek term for oeso^ 
phagus. The phleps is the inferior phrenic vein and the two neura are 
the great splanchnic nerves. The rhachis is the spine. 

(116) The reference is to the attachment of the diaphragm at the back, not 
directly to the vertebral column but through the lateral and medial arcuate liga/ 
ments connected with the quadratus lumborum and psoas major. 

(117) To the bodies of the upper 3 (4) thoracic vertebrae the longus colli is 
attached, while to the lower three the crura of the diaphragm are attached, thus 
leaving the middle six free. 

(118) Despite many suggestions, no light has been thrown on the origin of 
the well-established term hieron ostoun, os sacrum, 'sacred bone'. 

(119) Metaphrenon literally 'behind the diaphragm'. In practice the 
term became restricted to the lower thoracic vertebrae. 

(120) The temporal muscle, though it differs greatly in size in different forms, 
is present in all mammals. 

(121) The coccygeal bone is, of course, small only in tailless forms such as the 
Barbary ape. 

(122) This is Aristotelian teaching. See Aristotle's De anima, ii. i and 2. 

(123) This passage is a compression of Aristode's Historia ammalitm, iii, ch. 7. 
In terms of modern morphology it contrasts 'homology' and 'analogy'. 

(124) The word PERiTTOMAis thus used by Aristotle who, however, also 
uses it in other senses. 

(125) In Galen's physiology nourishment is conveyed by the veins which 
take their rise in the liver. See pp. xviii-xix. 

(126) The rectum is in fact straight in the ape (Fig. 22) though not in man, 
an illustration of how the anatomical tradition of nomenclature is derived from 
simian material and ultimately from Galen. See note 137. 

(127) See Aristotle, De partibus animalium, iii. 14. 

(128) The passages at the opening of this chapter bear close resemblance to 
passages in the opening chapter of Aristotle's De partibus animalium. 

(129) The text adds here prosphatos, 'lately'. This must be a scribal 
insertion because the omentum is called epiploon by Homer, Herodotus, 



Hippocrates, and Aristotle, all known to Galen. It therefore had this name at 
least a thousand years before Galen used it. 

(130) Mesenteric N, '[membrane] intermediary to intestine', is an Aris^ 
totelian term. Mesaraion, 'thin intermediary [membrane]', is a term, prob^ 
ably of Alexandrian origin, used by Galen and Rufus. 

(131) Pyle, porta, gate, i.e. 'fissure of the liver'. Vena portae (less properly 
vena porta), vein of the gate. SxELECHiAiAisan adjective from stelechos, 
'shaft', 'trunk'; hence phleps stelechiaia, 'trunk vein'. The last, a 
neologism in Galen's time, did not catch on. 

(132) Mnesitheus, De elephanto. Nothing is known of this Mnesitheus except 
through Galen who treats him with respect in several places. But Galen is wrong 
and Mnesitheus right in saying that the elephant has no gall bladder. The fact 
was known also to Aristotle, Historia animalium, ii. 16. The common bile duct 
of the elephant expands in the wall of the duodenum into a vesicle which seems 
to serve the purpose of a gall bladder. 

(133) This is one of the longest of the surviving fragments of Herophilus, 
founder of the anatomical school at Alexandria (300 B.C.). None of his works 
survives. His anatomical fragments are collected and translated by J. F. Dobson, 
Proc. Roy. Soc. Med., 1924-5, xviii (Sect. Hist. Med.), p. 19. 

(134) There is, however, no vermiform appendix in any ape that Galen is 
likely to have dissected. 

(135) DoDEKADAKTYLON, *[a Space of] twelve fingers', Latin duodenum 
'[a space of] twelve'. Thus the word comes to us as a Latin version of a term 
of Herophilus. 

(136) Our word 'ileum' is of medieval origin, without classical justification. 
It involved a confusion between Latin ilium, lower belly, and Greek eileos, 
abdominal pain. Thus our modern terms 'ileum' and 'ilium' are really cony 
nected and both with the term 'iliac disease' or 'iliac passion'. 

(137) Rectum. This tract of intestine is quite straight in the ape and many 
mammals, but not in man. The first known application of the word rectum to the 
viscus is by Celsus (first century a.d.), who doubtless translates apeuthy^ 
SMENON ENTE RON 'the gut that is made straight' of some earlier Greek writer, 
from whom also Galen doubtless took it. 

(13,8) Parenchyma, 'poured in beside'. This passage is the origin of our 
modern term which did not come into use until the seventeenth century. 

(139) Pyloros, literally 'gatekeeper'. The word is first used in its medical 
sense by Celsus, first century a.d. 



(140) The allusion to Plato is either to the Republic 7, 53 3E, Sophist 244, or 
Statesman 26 ie. 

(141) The mention of a coccyx shows that Galen was here dissecting 
a tailless monkey such as the Barbary ape. 

(142) SphinktEr means 'that which binds tight'. 

(143) Galen usually ignores the atria, regarding the 'venous artery' (our pul-' 
monary vein) and the vena cava a^s attached directly to the left and right ven/ 
tricles respectively. Thus our 'pulmonary vein' is for him a vessel proceeding 
from the left ventricle. 

(144) Erasistratus of Ceos (f. c. 280 B.C.) was one of the earliest and greatest 
Alexandrian anatomists. He laid emphasis on fullness or emptiness of the vessels. 
His works have not survived, but his anatomical fragments have been collected 
and translated by J. F. Dbbson, Proc. Roy. Soc. Med., 1926-7, xx (Sect. Hist. 
Med.), pp. 21-28. 

(145) Erasistratus held that the arteries in general contain only pneuma, a 
view in refutation of which Galen wrote his An in arteriis natura sanguis con^ 
tineatur, K. iv. 703-36. This famous tract records one of Galen's most remarkable 
experiments. See pp. 198-200. The next three sentences summarize the Erasis/ 
tratean theory of the pneuma. 

(146) The form of the Greek letter sigma to which reference is here made is 
the capital shaped like our C. 

(147) For Galen the thymus is the gland par excellence. This seems remarkable, 
but it must be remembered that the thymus is relatively larger in apes than 
in man and that, moreover, Galen was inclined to dissect young specimens and 
had dissected human foetuses. He knew that the thymus decreases as the 
animal becomes adult, De alimentorum facultatibus, K. vi. 674. 

(148) In Galenic physiology the left ventricle is called the pneumatic ven-^ 
tricle because the World/pneuma is brought thither from the air in the lungs by 
the 'venous artery' (our pulmonary vein). 

(149) A DELTOS is a writing tablet and was perhaps used for a case of 
writing instruments. I do not understand why it should be called aKEPHALi^ 


(150) . Galen used the word OTA (sing, ous), 'ears', to mean the 'auricles' 
or 'auricular appendages' of the heart. Until the recent Birmingham revision 
(1933) the word 'auricle' meant one of the two upper chambers of the heart, 
into the atrium of which the large vessels entered. At the revision the word 
'atrium' was applied to the chamber as a whole, and the term 'auricle of the 



atrium' is now used for the ear^shaped projection on which Galen's attention 
was focused. That his 'auricle' implied more than this is shown by the passage 
on p. 185. See also note (160). 

(151) Galen numbers cranial nerves quite differently from modern anatomists. 
His system is brought out in the following table. 

Modem notation Galen s notation 

I. Olfactory .... Not regarded as nerves 

II. Optic .... First pair 'Soft nerves of the eye' 

III. Oculomotor . . . Second pair 'Nerves moving the eye' 

IV. Trochlear .... Not described 

V. Trigeminal . . . ( ^^^^ 
° I Fourth pair 

VI. Abducent .... United with second 

VII. Facial ) t.t. • 

VIIL Auditory)- ' ' ' ^'^'^ 

IX. Glossopharyngeah 

X. Vagus I . . Sixth pair 

XI. Spinal accessory J 

XII. Hypoglossal . . . Seventh pair 

(152) De Hippocratis et Platonis placitis, K. v. 181-805. The discussion in 
question is on pp. 702 ff. The thermon emphyton (calor innatus, 'innate 
heat') as an indwelling sign of life is a conception that goes back to the Hippos 
cratic writings (Aphorisms i. 14, See). It was accepted by Plato (T/mam 62A, &:c.) 
and Aristotle (De partihus animalim, &c., passim), was transmitted by Galen to 
later ages, became current at the scientific revival, was familiar to Descartes and 
Harvey, and hardly disappeared from the scientific vocabulary till the nineteenth 
century. It is an essential part of Galen's physiology though rather obscurely 
linked by him with the three bodily pneumata. 

(153) The chapter on the heart has been disturbed. There is scribal confusion 
between the tricuspid and semilunar valves. 

(154) The azygos vein varies much in its course but never empties into — 
Galen would say 'arises from' — the right atrium. In apes, however, the vena 
cava superior has the curious appearance of being embraced by the atrium near 
the azygos. See Charles Singer and C. Rabin, A Prelude to Modern Science, 
heing . . . the Somes of the Tabulae Sex of Vesalius, Cambridge, 1946, p. liv. 

(155) Galen here interprets Aristotle erroneously. Aristotle denies the pres^ 
ence of any vessels in the heart (De partihus animalium, 665^30 and 666^5). He uses 
their absence as an argument for the heart itself being a vessel. 

252 NOTES 

(156) Attention to the heart'-bone was drawn by Aristotle in the Historia 
animalium, 506^9; ii. 15, and in De partihus animaliumy 666^; iii. 4, where this struct 
ture is described in oxen and horses. Heart^bones have been found in many large 
mammals both in relation to the semilunar and to the mitral valves. The hearts 
bone is represented in man by the tracts known as the right and left trigonum 

(157) This curious mistake of Aristotle has led to endless discussion. We 
believe that no solution is attainable. 

(158) The pits in the ventricular septum Galen believed connected the two 
ventricular cavities and so allowed the pneuma from the lung to pass from the 
right ventricle to the left. 

(159) A double apex of the heart is an embryonic feature found, in a greater 
or lesser degree, in the adults of species of several mammalian groups. It is not 
normally seen in birds. 

(160) The translation of Galen's ota as 'auricles' is here literally correct, 
since he refers to the auricular appendages and not to the atria. See also note (150). 

(161) In most apes the vena cava inferior lies in a fossa of the lung 
almost surrounded by the azygos lobe and lying on the lobus inferior of the 
right lung (Fig. 21). It is untrue that the number of lung lobes is equal on the 
two sides in most animals. 

(162) The pleura would then be almost opaque and no movement visible 
through it. 

(163) There is apparently confusion here between lacteals and blood vessels 
but the Greek text is itself disordered. It may also be that there was such con/ 
fusion in the original passages of Erasistratus. 

(164) A physiological error and contradictory to what Galen stated on 
pp. 128-9. 

(165) The phrase is perhaps a paraphrase of Hippocrates, De officina medici, iv. 

(166) The movement of the lower part of the thorax is due to the action of the 

(167) The word here translated is skolopochairios, literally 'pointed 

(168) Noricum, a Roman province, corresponds roughly to the modern 
Styria. The iron^ore of Noricum produced an excellent steel. It was in high 
repute in antiquity. 

(169) If the text here is correct, these observations of Galen can be explained 
only by his having accidentally perforated the pleura and/or the lung. 


(170) Parygron, 'moist [plaster]', is a preparation mentioned by Galen 
in his De compositione medicamentorum per genera, K. xiii. 952, 953. There he 
ascribes its invention to one Heras, not otherwise known. He gives its com/ 
position as: Fresh lard 44 parts by weight, wax 24, white lead 6, and 
litharge 6. 

(171) Pyelos is a term that Galen uses for the infundibulum, as is also 
CHONE, an abbreviated form of choanE. 

(172) The exact form of these instruments can hardly be recovered. 

(173) The deep torcular, lenos, 'winepress', of Herophilus is the anterior 
end of the sigmoid sinus at its junction with the jugular. Here is an enlargement 
of the sinus which is, perhaps, inadequately stressed by modern anatomists 
(Fig. 25). The superficial torcular is the junction of the sigmoid sinuses and the 
sagittal sinus. 

(174) The work in the Hippocratic Collection De carnihus, 3, Littre viii, 
p. 586 (middle) uses the word me ni NX in a way that can be translated only as 
'membrane' in general. This usage is supported by the Greek lexicographer 
Hesychius. Galen is, however, wrong in suggesting that 'Hippocrates' normally 
gives MEN I NX this general application. 

(175) The rather unexpected epithet of the great cerebral as 'the vein which 
runs down' recurs in a confused passage at the end of this chapter. 

(176) The first duct is the groove in the floor of the third ventricle leading 
to the infundibulum. The second duct is the aqueduct. 

(177) Galen seems here to be refuting some unnamed colleague. 


Except where otherwise indicated all the figures are by 
Mr. Benjamin Kopel and are taken from The Anatomy 
of the Rhesus Monkey, edited by Professors C. G. Hartman 
and W. L. Straus, Jr., Baltimore, 193 3^ by kind permission 
of the editors and publishers. 


Fig. 2. Skull of Barbary ape, Macaca imus, from Paul Rode, Les Primates 
de I'Ajrique, Paris, 1937. 


Fig. 5. Female pelvis, anterior view. Both the anterior superior and the anterior 
inferior spines of the ilium are inconspicuous. 


Fig. 6. Dorsal aspect of distal end of right radius of Macaca mulatta^ showing the 
deep grooves for the extensor muscles. Drawing by Professor A. J. E. Cave. 



Fig. 8. Panniculus carnosus. Digitations 
of the serratus anterior are seen projecting 
beyond its anterior border. This muscle 
varies greatly in extent in allied species 
and in different members of the same 
species. It has caudal and thoracic parts, 
the division betw^een which can be seen 
extending from the lowest part of the 
serratus anterior. 



Fig. II. Superficial facial muscles. 





Fig. 1 6. Muscles of right thigh, medial view. 


Fig. 17. Muscles of right hip and thigh, lateral view. 



Fig. i8. Right femoral artery and branches. Insert shows arteries of dorsum 

of foot. 


Fig. 19. Superficial plantar muscles. 


Fig. 20. Deeper plantar muscles. 


B . 2353 


^^^'^'^ M SPHINCT. ANI EXT. 

Fig. 22. The rectum. 


B. 2353 


Fig. 25. Diagram of the posterior cerebral sinuses, to illustrate the interior 
toKular, from Richard Lower, Tractatus de corde, London, 1669. a, part 
of longitudinal sinus; h h, the two lateral sinuses;//, two tortuous sinuses 
hollowed within the skull bone to prevent backflow of blood into the 
cerebral sinuses. These enlargements of the lateral sinuses, here much 
exaggerated, are seldom represented in modern anatomies. Galen speaks 
of this enlargement as LENOS, translated by the Latin word torcular 
(winepress). He distinguishes these 'internal' torculares from the external 
torcular formed by the conjunction of the lateral superior longitudinal 
and straight sinuses. This he calls the external torcular (LENOS) or 
torcular Herophili. Vesalius wrongly accuses Galen of confusing 
the two torculares, although he had himself edited the very book in 
which Galen distinguishes them 


Bristle in 



Middle Cerebellar. 



Inferior Cerebellar 


Fig. 26. Diagram of fourth ventricle, aqueduct, and part of third ventricle, 
to illustrate the calamus scriptorius of Herophilus and Galen. The pen is in^ 
dicated by the heavy line. (Drawing by Professor A. J. E. Cave.) 



Acetabulum, 55; fig. 5. 
Acromion, 105, 125, 127; nn. 96, 

d'Alechamps, J., xxvi. 

Alexander of Aphrodisias, n. 17. 

Alexander of Damascus, 2; n. 17. 

Alexandria, xiv, xvii-xviii, 2-3, 237; 
nn. 32, 55, 133. 

Anatomy, condemned by Empirics, 
xvi-xvii, 4, 35; n. 25; 'golden age' 
of, 31-32; n. 40; knowledge of, re-' 
quired by surgeons, 4-7, 32-36, 
60-62, 77-79, 81-82, 91-93; n. 73; 
origin of text^'books of, 31-32. 

Anaxagoras, n. 53. 

Ano^coccygeal body, 170-1. 

'Anthrax', 4; n. 27. 

Antoninus Pius, emperor of Rome, 
xiv; n. i. 

Anus, 170-1; fig. 22. 

Aorta, 142, 172, 174, 179-80, 185-6. 

Apes, anatomy of, 4, 10, 14, 38, 44, 
61, 95» 97, 117-18; nn. 36, 38-39, 
52, 77-78, 82, 99, 102, 105, 107, 
121, 141, 154, 161; — , compared 
with human anatomy, xix, 2-4, 39, 
48, 51-52, 76-77, 83 n., 84, 86-87, 

91, 97-98, 107, no, 1 15-17, 128, 
147, 164; nn. 23, 31, 37, 44-45» 
47-48, 50, 71, 76, 79, 84-85, 92, 
95-96, 147; fig. 7; — , compared 
with that of other mammals, 102, 
129, 145-6, 153, 167, 219; nn. 19, 

92, 95; as anatomical subjects, xix, 
xxi, 3-8, 16, 64, 76-77, 82, 94-97, 
102-3, 148, 153. See also Baboon, 
Barbary ape, Colobus monkey, 
Macaca sp.. Mandrill, Rhesus mon^- 
key, Semnopithecus entellus. 

Apes, anthropoid, unknown to 

Galen, xxi n. 
Aponeuroses, 8; bicipital, 25, 67-68, 

126; palmar, 7, 14; fig. 14; plantar, 

7; n. 31. 

Appendix vermiformis, n. 134. 

Aqueduct, cerebral, 235-6; n. 176; 
fig. 26. 

Aquileia, plague at, xiv. 

Archidamus of Carystos, n. 42. 

Archigenes of Apamea, xiv, xvi. 

Arcuate line, 154-5. 

Aretaeus of Cappodocia, xv-xvi. 

Aristotle, 151, 186-7; nn. 53, 58, 81, 
97, 124, 129-30, 155-7; works 
of, De anima, n. 122; — , De genera'' 
tione animalimt, n. 89; — , De genera^ 
tioneet corruptione, n. 58; — , Historia 
animalium, nn. 54, 81, 123, 132, 
156; — , Meteor ologia, nn. 58, in; 
— , De partihus animalium^ nn. 54, 81, 
97, 127-8, 152, 155-6. 

Arteries, of heart, 178-80, 186-88; of 
lower limb and foot, 87-89; of 
upper limb and hand, 74-77, 79- 
80; proved by Galen to contain 
blood, xiv, 197-200; n. 145; views 
of Erasistratus on, 175-6, 200; n. 
144-5, 163. See also Blood-'vessels. 

Arteries (named): axillary, 75, 79; 
brachial, 80, 82; carotid, 211, 232; 
coronary, 186-8; dorsal metacarpal, 
80; femoral, 89; fig- 18; gastric, 156; 
iliac, common, 168; lateral plantar, 
90; fig. 18; mammary, internal, 
190-1; obturator, 90; pulmonary 
('arterial vein'), xix, 177-80, 185, 
188; radial, 71, 80; renal, 167; 
testicular, 168-9; ulnar, 80. 

Artiodactyla, 202. 

Asclej)iadae, legends of, 31-32; n. 40. 
Asclepiades of Bythinia, xvi. 
Athens, nn. 17, 42. 
Atria (of heart), 184-6, 196-7; nn. 

143, 150, 154; n. 160. 
Auricles, 184-6, 189, 196-7; nn. 150, 


Azygos lobe (of right lung), 189; n. 
161; fig. 21. 



Baboons, 3, 4, 97, 147-8. See also 

Barbary ape ( Macaca inuus), xix, xxi; 

nn. 22-23, 121, 141; figs. 2, 7. 
Bears, 98, 129, 153. 
Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, xxvi. 
Bichat, M. F. X., n. 53. 
Bile^ducts, 151, 162, 166-7. 
Birds, 188; n. 105; as anatomical sub^ 

jects, 149. 
Bladder, urinary, 151, 159, 16 1-2, 171. 

See also Gall-bladder. 
Blood-'letting, see Venesection. 
Blood/vessels, coats of, 178-9; errone^' 

ous views of Galen on, xviii-xix, 

75, 151, 172, 177-9, 186; nn. 68, 
125, 143. See also Arteries, Veins. 

Boethus, see Flavius Boethus. 

Bone (bones): atlas, 111-14, 1 16-18; 
n. 102; axis, 1 10-14, 145; cal^ 
caneum, 48, 90, no, 1 12-14, ^45 1 
n. 31; clavicle, 2, 28, 92, 94, 
97, 114-15, 1^5, 127, 201, 203; 
n. 102; coccyx, 45, 83, 147, 170; 
nn. 121, 141; cuneiform, n. 49; 
femur, 4, 37, 43-46, 48, 53, 55-5^, 
86; nn. 23, 47; fig. 7; fibula, 50-51, 
53, 55, 57, 86, 89-90; heart bone 
(os cordis), 186-8; n. 156; humerus, 
19-22, 28-30, 63, 65-68, 71, 73-74, 

76, 123-4, 126; hyoid, I 15-16; 
ilium, 37, 41. 44-45, 135, 144; n- 
45; fig. 5; innominate, 43, 55, 135; 
ischium, 39-40, 43, 45; fig. 5; man^ 
dible, 94, 98-99, 101-5; nn. 90, 93; 
metacarpal, 18-19, 27; n. 49; meta^ 
tarsal, 51; navicular, of foot, 49, 57; 
— , of hand, 23, 25; occipital, 107- 
10, 112, 114, 128; petrous, see tem^ 
poral; pisiform, 14, 23, 26; n. 36; 
pterygoid, see sphenoid; pubic, 38, 
43-44, 47, 84-85, 90; fig. 5; radius, 
18, 20-23, 25, 27, 67; n. 38; fig. 6; 
ribs, 121-2, 127-34, 145-6, 201-3; 
— , excision of, 215-17, 222-5; — , 
false, 120, 130, 132-4, 158, 203, 
205; sacrum, 144, 170; n. 118; 

scapula, 28-30, 63, 92, 105-8, 115- 

18, 120, 122-7, 207, 213, 216, 
219-20; nn. 96, 99, 102; sphenoid, 
pterygoid process of, 102-3; ster/ 
num, 2, 124-5, 127, 129-30, 132, 
138, 173, 190-1, 196, 201-3; nn. 

19, 109; — , excision of, 192-3; 
talus, 57; temporal, petrous portion, 
118; — , squamous portion, 228; 
— , zygomatic process of, 10 1-2; 
tibia, 37-41, 43, 50-51, 53, 55-57, 
89; n. 24; trapezium, 27; trochanter, 
44-45; ulna, 17, 19-22, 27, 30, 68; 
vertebrae, cervical, 61-62, 66, iii- 
14, 116-18, 129, 145, 221; nn. 
63, 102; — , dorsal, 123; n. 99; — , 
lumbar, 123, 143, 202; — , thoracic, 
66, 116, 142-5, 201-3, 211; nn. 
1 16-17, 119; Vesalian, see Sesa/- 
moid cartilages. 

Brachial plexus, 79-80, 220; fig. 23. 
Brain, xix, 226-37. 
Bronchi, 172, 176, 179. 

Caecum, 64. 
Caelius Aurelianus, xvi. 
Calamus scriptorius, 237; fig. 26. 
Camels, anatomy of, 188; as anato^ 

mical subjects, 153. 
Camerarius, J., xx. 
Cartilages, see Costal, Sesamoid, 

Cats, as anatomical subjects, 148-9. 
Cattle, see Oxen. 
Cave, A. J. E., figs. 6, 7, 26. 
Celsus, xvi; n. 137. 
Cerebellum, 229. 
Chartier, Rene, xx; n. 9. 
Chorioid plexus, 231-2. 
Colobus monkey (Colohus polyy 

kromos), fig. 3. 
Colon, 158, 164. 

Commodus, emperor of Rome, xiv- 


Corinth, xiv. 

Corpora quadrigemina, 236-7; fig. 26. 
Corpus callosum, 231-2, 234. 


Costal cartilages, i8o. 
Costochondral junctions, 134. 
Costotransverse joints, 202. 
Costovertebral joints, 200. 
Costunius Rufinus, 4; n. 28. 
Crace, J. F., xxv. 
Cratander, Andreas, xx. 
Crocodile, 94; n. 81. 
Crura of diaphragm, 143; n. 117. 
Cushing Collection, Yale, xxvi. 
Cyprus, xiv. 

Dalechamps, J., xxvi. 
Daremberg, C, n. 10. 
Democritus, n. 41. 
Descartes, R., n. 152. 
Diaphragm, 132-3, 140-3, 155, 

201-3; nn. 112-13, 115-17, 119; 

respiratory function of, 203-5, 

212-13, 222-3; n. 166. 
Digital fossa (of femur), 46. 
Diodes of Carystos, xvi, 32, 230; 

n. 42. 

Dissection of cadavers, general in/ 
structions for, 2-8, 63, 81, 133-4, 
148-50; preparation and selection 
of cadavers, 7, 12-13, 94-96, 131, 
188; special instructions for, ab/ 
domen and viscera, 134-40, 143-6, 
154-71; — , brain, — , eye, 

104; n. 94; — , head and neck, 
92-94, 96-115, 1 18-19; — , lower 
limb and foot, 36-57, 83-90; — , 
upper limb and hand, 13-30, 63- 
77, 79-80; — , thorax, 1 15-18, 
120-33, 140-3, 172-89, 201-3. 
See also Vivisection. 

Dobson, J. F., nn. 133, 144. 

Dogmatist School, xvi; nn. 12, 15, 42. 

Dogs, as anatomical subjects, 102, 129. 

Donkeys, as anatomical subjects, 64. 

Dugat, G., xxv-xxvi. 

Duodenum, 159, 164. 

Dura mater, 227-30, 234-5. 

Ear, 105-6; n. 95. 
Eclectic School, xvii. 

EX 281 

Elephants, anatomy of, 162-4; ^- 132; 

as anatomical subjects, 153, 187-8. 
Eminentia facialis (of brain), 237. 
Empiric School, xvi-xvii, 4, 35; 

nn. 12, 25, 30. 
Ensiform cartilage (of sternum), see 

Epiplocele, 157. 

Erasistratus, xvii-xviii, i, 59, 166, 
176, 189, 199-200; nn. 55-56, 
144-5, 163. 

Eudemus the Peripatetic, 2; n. 16. 

Eye, 104; n. 94. 

Falx cerebri, 229-31. 

Farrington, B., xxv. 

Fascia, 18; gluteal, 45; lata, 45; pal/ 

mar, 80; pelvic, 47. 
Faustina, n. i. 

Fishes, 189; as anatomical subjects, 

Flavius Boethus, xiv, 1-2; nn. 2, 17. 

Foot, contrasted with hand, 49-52, 
91; n. 79. 

Foramen (foramina), of diaphragm, 
142; interventricular, 234-5; ^^^'^ 
tal, 98-99; nn. 84-86; obturatum 
(thyroid), 44, 83-85, 90; fig. 5; 
of skull, n. 32; stylomastoid, 100; 
symphyseosum, n. 85. 

Fornix, 233-6. 

Fowl, domestic, with double/apexed 

heart, 188; n. 159. 
Froeben, J., xx. 
Fuchs, Leonhard, xx. 

Gadaldino, Agostino, xx. 

Galen, absence of successors to, xxiii, 
32; n. 43; anatomical diagrams by, 
xxii, 28, 105; biographical sum/ 
mary, xiii-xv; character of, xxiii- 
xxiv; erroneous views of, on blood/ 
vessels, xviii-xix, 75, 151, 172, 
177-9, 186; nn. 68, 125, 143; — , 
on functions of parts of brain, xix; 
— , on gall/bladder of elephant, 
162-3, n- 132; — , on 'golden age' 



Galen ( conU) : 
of anatomy, 31-32, n. 40; — , on 
masticatory muscles, 119; n. 104; 
— , on movements of jaw of croco/- 
dile, 94; n. 81; — , on movements 
of thorax, 203; n. 164; — , on 
motor action of cranial nerves, 98- 
99; nn. 86, 88; — , on nature of 
nerves, xix, 59; n. 57; — , on rami/ 
fications of ulnar and sciatic nerves, 
73-74, 87; — , on relative develops' 
ment of hands and feet, 91; n. 79; 
— , on superficial veins, 76-77, 89 
and n.; nn. 70-71; — , on 
trachea and bronchi, xix, 172, 
178-9; human anatomy directly 
knov^n to, xix, xxi-xxiii, 2-7, 34, 
37, 51-5^. 76-77, 164; nn. 19-21, 
26, 31, 44-45, 50, 71-72, 147; 
human anatomy confused by, with 
simian, xix, 37; n. 45; ignorance of 
anthropoid apes, xxi n.; ignorance 
of invertebrate anatomy, 149; on 
classification of mammals, 75, 94, 
97-98, 147-9; n. 69; on errors of his 
contemporaries, xvi-xvii, xxiv, 12- 
13, 34-35, 60-61, 69, 77, 81-82, 
91-93, 107-8, 111-12, 123-4, 130, 
162-3, 183-4, 186-7, 193-5, 197- 
9, 235; nn. 30, 98, 177; on errors 
and omissions of his predecessors, 
7-12, 24, 30, 47, 53-54, 66-67, 
85, 92, 107, 131, 137, 146, 176, 
187, 199-200, 203-4; on the hand, 
xix, xxi, 8, 91; n. 79; on his 
own medical education, 1-2, 4-5, 
205; on importance, of anatomical 
knowledge in surgery, 2-7, 32-36, 
60-62, 76, 81-82; — , of osteology 
and myology in anatomy, 2-6, 
34-36, 91-92; — , of vivisection in 
physiology, 7-8; on innate heat, 1 84; 
n. 152; on instruments, 180, 208, 
210-11, 214-15, 227-8, 230, 234, 
236; nn. 149, 167, 172; on origin 
of anatomical text-'books, 31-32; 
on presence of blood in arteries, xiv, 

197-200; n. 145; on prognosis, 60; 
n. 60; on terminology, xviii-xix, 8, 
10-17, 21, 37, 63, 65, 88, 90, 94, 
99, 105, 108, 113, 115, 144, 151, 
155-7, 160, 164-6, 168, 171-3, 175, 
177, 216, 226-34, 236-7; nn. 35, 
53, 57, 59, 65, 80, 89, 114, 118-19, 
126, 129-31, 135-9, 142, 148, 150, 
160, 170-1, 173-5; fig. 25; patients 
of, 4-5, 39-40, 60-62, 192-5; nn. 2, 
18; pneumatist physiology of, xvi- 
xix, 133, 151, 176-7, 180, 184; 
nn. 125, 148, 152, 158; works of: 
De alimentorum Jacultatihus, n. 147; 
De anatomicis administrationihus libri 
II, I, 8, 93; nn. I, 3; Df anatomicis 
administrationihus libri XV, xiii, xv, 
xx-xxi, xxiv-xxvi, i, 93, 147; nn. 
4, 10, 66; y4« in arteriis natura sanguis 
contineatur, 199; n. 145; De causis 
respirationis, xiv, i, 131, 133, 
204-6; n. 8; De compositione medical 
mentor um per genera, n. 170; De 
dissentione anatomica, 9, 189; n. 34; 
De Jacultatihus naturalibus, xiv; In 
Hippocratis de acutorum morhorum victu 
commentarius, n. 18; De Hippocratis 
et Erasistrati anatomice, i, 59; nn. 5, 
56; De Hippocratis et Platonis placitis, 
184; n. 152; De lihris propriis, xv; 
nn. 5, 32; Adversus Lycum, n. 98; 
'0« Medical Experience' [translated 
from Arabic], xiv; n. 12; De mor^^ 
tuorum dissectione, 1, 82; n. 7; De 
motibus dubiis, 99, 104; n. 87; De 
motu musculorum, iii, 119; n. 100; 
De musculorum dissectione ad tirones, 6, 
19; n. 29; De ossihus ad tirones, 3,5, 
16, 25, 112; n. 20; De semine, n. 
33; De thoracis et pulmonis motu, i, 
204-5; n. 11; De usu partium, xiv, 
xix-xxi, xxiii, i, 8, 26, 33, 36, 91, 
93, 104, 119, 147, 153, 162-3, 172. 
185; nn. 10, 33, 79; De venae sectione 
adversus Erasistratum, n. 56; De vivo^ 
rum dissectione, i; n. 6; De voce, i; 
n. 9. 



Gallbladder, 151, 162-3; n. 132. 

Gardiner, E. N., n. 106. 

Gemelli, M. F., 85. 

Geschmauss, J., xx. 

Giunta, Lucantonio, xx. 

Goats, as anatomical subjects, 198-200. 

Guenther, J., xiii, xx-xxii; n. 96. 

Hadrian, emperor of Rome, xvi. 
Haemorrhage, 193; control of, in 

vivisection, 196-7, 214. 
Hand, xix, xxi, 2, 13-21, 23-27, 49- 

52, 81, 91, 147-8; nn. 37, 79. 
Hares, 163. 

Hartman, C. G., figs, i, 5, 8-23. 

Harvey, W., xiii; n. 152. 

Head, dissection of, 92-94, 96-115, 

1 18-19. See also BvsLin. 
Heart, 172, 174-5. 177-90; nn. 143, 

153-8; double-'apexed, 187-8; n. 

159; exposure of, in surgery, 193; 

— , in vivisection, 191-2, 194-7. 
Heat, innate, 184; n. 152. 
Heras, n. 170. 
Hernia, 135, 157. 
Herodotus, 81; nn. 81, 129. 
Herophilus, xvii-xviii, 163-4, 189, 

228, 231, 237; nn. 133, 135, 173; 

figs. 25, 26. 
Hesychius, n. 174. 
Hilum, 167. 

Hippocrates, i, 18, 32, 59, 63, 65, 
82, 94, 102, 127, 142, 184, 211, 
230; nn. 5, 13-15, 4i» 75. 9i, 108, 

Hippocratic Collection, works from: 
De acutorum morhorum vktu, n. 18; 
Aphorismi, n. 152; De artkulis, 65, 
127; nn. 67, 80,91, io?>; Decarnihus, 
nn. 115, 174; Epidemks, n. 1$; De 
fractis, 63; n. 64; De officina medki, 
211; n. 165; Praenotiones, n. 60. 

Hippopotami, as anatomical subjects, 

Homer, n. 129. 

Horses, 164; n. 156; as anatomical 
subjects, 64, 188. 

Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, xxvi. 

Ileum, 164; n. 136. 
Infundibulum, xix, 227, 235-6; n. 

Inion, 107-10, 114, 128. 
Instruments, 180, 208, 210-11, 214- 

15, 227-8, 230, 236; nn. 149, 167, 


Intestines, 135, 151, 157-9, 162. 
Invertebrates, not dissected by Galen, 

Jaws, 3-4, 93-104, 1 1 8-19, 147-9; 

n. 92. 
Jejunum, 159, 164. 
Job, the prophet, n. iii. 

Kidneys, 151, 157-9, 161-2, 167-8. 

Kopel, B., figs. I, 5, 8-23. 

Kiihn, C. G., xxi, xxiii; nn. 8-10, 

16-18, 20, 32-33, 56, 98, 100, 145, 

147, 170. 

Lacertus fibrosus, see Aponeurosis, 

Lacteals, 200; n. 163. 
Lambdoid suture, 227-8. 
Lanuvium, xiv. 

Lard, in materia medica, n. 170. 
Larynx, 118, 172. 

Lead (white lead and litharge), in 
materia medica, n. 170. 

Ligaments: apical, of odontoid pro-' 
cess, 113; arcuate, of diaphragm, 
143; n. 116; arcuate popliteal, 53; 
calcaneo^fibular, 57; capsular, of 
hip, 55, 57; — , of knee, 55; — , of 
shoulder, 127; — , of tarsus, 57; 
collateral, of knee, 53, 55; fig. 16; 
cruciate, of knee, 55-56; crural, see 
extensor retinaculum of ankle; del^ 
toid, s^~S7* dorsal carpal, see ex^ 
tensor retinaculum of wrist; ex^ 
tensor retinaculum, of ankle, 49-50, 
56; n. 49; — , of wrist, 13, 19; fig. 
14; flexor retinaculum, of ankle. 



Ligaments ( cont.) : 
48-49; — , of wrist, 15; interosseous, 
of wrist, 15, 20, 24; lateral, see col" 
lateral; menisci, of knee, 55-56; 
nuchae, n. 99; patellar, 41-42; pero-' 
neal, 56; sternopericardial, 174; talo^ 
calcaneal, 57; talofibular, anterior, 
51, 56; — , posterior, 57; talonavi/ 
cular, 57; teres, 55; tibiofibular, 56- 
57; transverse, of atlas, 113. See 
also Aponeuroses. 

Linea alba, 138. 

Linea semicircularis, 140. 

Lips, 93-94, 98-100. 

Liver, xviii, 151, 156, 158-9, 16 1-3, 
165-7; nn. 125, 131. 

Lower, R., fig. 25. 

Lumbo/'Sacral plexus, 83n.; fig. 24. 

Lungs, xxiii, 175-8, 189; n. 161; fig. 
21; post-mortem collapse of, 189, 
223-4. <^^^'^ Respiration. 

Lycus of Macedon, 6, 107-8, 111-12, 
117; nn. 30, 98. 

'Lynx', 97, 148; n. 83. 

Macaca inms, see Barbary ape; — 
mulatta, see Rhesus monkey; — sp., 
45-46, 105, 168; nn. 36, 38, 52, 95, 

MacKenna, R. O., xxvi. 

Mammals, 162-4, 186-7; nn. 156, 
161; Galen's classification of, 75, 
94, 97-98, 152-5; n. 69. See also 
names of individual animals. 

Mammals other than apes, as ana^ 
tomical subjects, 64, 94, 102, 
148-50, 153, 166-7, 187-8. 

Mandrill {Papio sphinx), fig. 4. See 
also Baboons. 

Marcus Aurelius, emperor of Rome, 
xiv-xv, I, 187; n. I. 

Marinus of Alexandria, 8, 31-32, 
187, 230; nn. 14, 32. 

Maryllus, 192-3. 

May, Mrs. Frederick, xx, xxiii; n. 10. 
Meldrum, Margaret, xxiv. 
Meninges, 228-30. 

Mesentery, 159-62, 200; n. 130. 
Methodist School, xvi, 61; n. 62. 
Mewald, Johan, xiii. 
Mice, as anatomical subjects, 148-9, 

Mnesitheus, 162-3; n. 132. 

Monkeys, see Apes. 

Mules, as anatomical subjects, 64. 

Muscles (of areas and functions): of 
abdomen, 134-40, 143-6; of head 
and neck, 104-18; of lower limb 
and foot, 36-54; of mastication, 93- 
94, 98-104, 118-19; of respiration, 
xiv, 128-9, 131-3, 140-3, 203-8, 
211-13, 217, 219-23; n. 166; 
of thorax, 120-33; of upper limb 
and hand, 9-30. 

Muscles (named): abductor digiti 
minimi (quinti), manus, 23; figs. 
14, 15; — , pedis, 53, 54; fig- 19; 
abductor hallucis, 54; fig. 19; ab^ 
ductor pollicis brevis, 23, 25; figs. 
14, 15; abductor pollicis longus, 
18-20, 73; n. 38; acromiodeltoid, 
see deltoid; adductor longus, 43-44, 
85-86, 88; fig. 16; adductor mag" 
nus, 42-44, 84-86, 88; adductor 
pollicis, 23; fig. 14; atlanto" 
scapularis anterior, 1 15-18, 204; 
n. 102; figs. 10, 13; atlantoscapu" 
laris posterior, 117; n. 103; fig. 10; 
auricularis, 105; n. 95; fig. 11; bi" 
ceps brachii, 10, 20-21, 25, 27-29, 
67-68, 74-75, 1^3, 126; fig. 10; h'u 
ceps femoris, 4, 39-40, 83, 86; n. 24; 
fig. 17; brachialis, 29, 68; brachio" 
radialis, 14, 27, 72, 74-75; figs. I4» 
15; buccinator, 103 ; bulbo^caverno/ 
sus, 171; cleidodeltoid, je^ deltoid; 
cleidomastoid, 114; fig. 13; coccyx 
geus (? pubo^coccygeus), 170; con/ 
trahentes digitorum manus, 23 n., 
24; fig. 15; contrahentes digitorum 
pedis, 54; n. 52; fig. 20; costalis, 
see iliocostalis dorsi; deltoid, 27-28, 
65, 68, 74, 126; — , acromiodeltoid 
portion, 125-6; n. 107; fig. 10; — , 



Muscles (named) ( cont.) : 
cleidodeltoid portion, 126; n. 107, 
fig. 9; — , spinodeltoid portion, 122, 
125-6; n. 107; fig. 10; digastric; 
1 18-19; fig- 13; dorso/epitro/- 
chlearis, 29; figs. 9, 10; epitro/ 
chleoanconeus, 69; extensor carpi 
radialis, 19-20, 22, 27, 72-73; 
extensor carpi ulnaris, 13, 18-19, 
72; extensor digiti quarti proprius 
manus, 10, 18-19, 26, 72; n. 37; 
extensor digiti quinti (minimi) 
proprius manus, 18-19, 26, 72; 
n. 37; extensor digiti secundi (in^ 
dicis) proprius manus, lo-ii, 18- 
19, 26, 72; n. 37; extensor digiti 
tertii proprius manus, lo-ii, 18-19, 
26, 72; n. 37; extensor digitorum 
brevis pedis, 54, 90; extensor digi^ 
torum communis manus, 9-10, 18- 
19, 26, 72; n. 37; extensor digi" 
torum longus pedis, 50; extensor 
hallucis brevis, 54; extensor hallucis 
longus, 50-51; extensor pollicis 
brevis, 19, 26; n. 39; extensor 
pollicis longus, 11, 18-19, 26; 
flexor carpi radialis, 13, 17, 21-22, 
26, 71-73; fig. 14; flexor carpi 
ulnaris, 13-14, 17, 2.1, 26, 52, 73; 
fig. 14; flexor digitorum accessorius, 
see quadratus plantae; flexor digi/ 
torum fibularis, see flexor hallucis 
longus; flexor digitorum longus, 
48-49, 54, 71; n. 48; flexor digi" 
torum profundus, 9, 12, 16-17, ^i, 
23, 50. 71, 73-74; fig- 15; flexor 
digitorum sublimis, 9, 12, 16-17, 
21, 71, 73-74; figs. 14. 15; flexor 
digitorum tibialis, see flexor digi^ 
torum longus; flexor hallucis 
longus, 48-51, 54, 71; n. 48; figs. 
19, 20; flexor pollicis brevis, 24; 
figs. 14, 15; flexor pollicis longus, 
16, 50; fig. 15; frontalis, 100; fig. 11; 
gastrocnemius, 7, 10, 41, 48, 53, 
86; n. 31; figs. 16, 17, 18; gemelli, 
85; gluteus maximus, 45, 85-86; 

n. 78; fig. 17; gluteus medius, 45- 
46, 85-86; n. 78; gluteus minimus, 
46, 85-86; gracilis, 34, 38-41, 83, 
85; nn. 24, 44; figs. 16, 18; iliacus, 
44, 85, 144-5; figs. 16, 24; ileo^ 
costalis dorsi, 129-30; iliocostalis 
lumborum, 145; intercostal, 13 1-3, 
203-8, 211-13, 215-16; interossei 
manus, i, 9, 24, 53-54; latissimus 
dorsi, 29, 67-68, 123-4; figs, 9, 10; 
levator ani, 176; levatores labii, 100; 
longissimus capitis, 116; longis^ 
simus cervicis, 116, 145-6; longis" 
simus dorsi, see longissimus thoracis; 
longissimus intermedius, see longis/ 
simus cervicis; longissimus thoracis, 
109; longus coin, 143; n. 117; 
lumbricales manus, 8, 23-24; fig. 
14; lumbricales pedis, 54; fig. 19; 
masseter, 94, 99-103; nn. 80, 86; 
fig. 13; nasolabiales, 100; fig. 11; 
obliquus abdominis externus, 134- 
5, 139-40; figs. 9, 10, 13, 17; 
obliquus abdominis internus, 135, 
139-40; fig. 11; obliquus capitis 
inferior, 109, 111-14, 116; fig. 11; 
obliquus capitis superior, 109, 
111-13, 116; fig. 11; obturator ex^ 
ternus, 44, 46-47, 84-85; obturator 
internus, 46-47, 84-85; fig. 17; 
occipitofrontalis, 92-93; omohyoid, 
1 1 5-1 8; palmaris longus, 13-15, 
17, 21, 73; fig. 14; panniculus 
carnosus, 7, 8, 120-3, I37; figs. 8, 
9, 23; pectineus, 44; fig. 16; peC'' 
toralis abdominis, 121-2, 124; fig. 
9; pectoralis major, 67-68, 74, 

121- 6, 134, 212-16, 220-1; n. 105; 
figs. 9, 23; pectoralis minor, 66-67, 

122- 3, 220; figs, 9, 23; peroneus 
longus, 51, 55; piriformis, 45, 
85-86; plantaris, 7, 36-37, 48; n. 
31; platysma, 7, 92, 94-98, 100, 
105, 107; nn. 82, 95; figs. II, 12; 
popliteus, 43, 53, 55; pronator 
quadratus, 20-22, 73, 79; fig. 15; 
pronator radii teres, 22, 73; psoas 



Muscles (named), ( com.) : 
major, 44, 85, 144-5; n. 116; figs. 
16, psoas minor, 44, 85, 144-5; 
figs. 16, 24; pterygoids, 100, 102-4, 
107; nn. 30, 90, 93; pubocaudalis, 
170; pubococcygaeus, see coccy/ 
gaeus; quadratus lumborum, n. 
116; quadratus plantae, 51-52; 
n. 51; fig. 19; quadriceps femoris, 
41-^2, 44, 88; rectus abdominis, 
129-30, 135-6, 138-40; fig. 13; 
rectus capitis posterior major, 109- 
12; rectus capitis posterior minor, 
no; rectus femoris, 41; fig. 16; 
rhomboideus, 107-8, 115, 128; 
n. 99; fig. 10; rhomboideus major, 
116, 128; rhomboideus minor, 116; 
rhomboideus thoracis (Jof pig), 
220; sartorius, 37-41, 83-84, 88-89; 
figs. 16, 17, 18; scalenus anterior 
(Jof pig), 218-19; scalenus brevis 
anterior, 128-9; scalenus longus, 
128-9; fig. 13; scaleni, human and 
simian compared, 204; — of pig, 
218-20; semimembranosus acces^- 
sorius, 40; figs. 16, 17; semimem'' 
branosus proprius, 38-41, 88; fig. 
16; semitendinosus, 40, 42, 88; 
fig. 17; serratus anterior, 118, 125, 
128-9; figs. 9, 10, 13, 23; serratus 
posterior inferior, 130; fig. 10; 
serratus posterior superior, 128-9; 
soleus, 48; sphincter ani externus, 
169-71; fig. 22; sphincter vesicae, 
169, 171; spinalis, 145; splenius, 
108-9, 118; sternocostalis, 127; 
fig. 13; sternomastoid, 107-14; fig. 
13; stylomastoid, 116; subclavius, 
125, 127; fig. 13; supinator, 20-22; 
supraspinatus, 126; fig. 10; tempo^' 
ral, 100, 102-3, 147; nn. 80, 120; 
fig. 17; tensor fasciae latae, 45; figs. 
16, 17; tibialis anterior, 50; n. 49; 
fig. 18; tractus ileotibialis, 45; fig. 
17; transversus abdominis, 136, 
139, 154-5; trapezius, 105-8, 116- 
18, 123-4, 128; nn. 96, 102; figs. 

10, 13; triceps brachii, 29-30, 72; 
fig. 10; 'triceps surae', 48; vastus 
intermedius, 41-42, 88; vastus 
lateralis, 42, 88; vastus medialis, 
41-42, 88; fig. 16. 
Nails, 57-59. 

Nerves: accessory (spinal accessory), 
106, 183; n. 151; axillary (circum^ 
flex), 65-66, 68-69; fig. 23; cuta'' 
neus antibrachii dorsalis, 72; fig. 23 ; 
cutaneus antibrachii medialis, 69- 
70, 82; fig. 23 ; cutaneus brachii later/ 
alis, 66; cutaneus brachii medialis, 
67, 69-70; fig. 23 ; cutaneus femoris 
lateralis, 83; fig. 24; cutaneus 
femoris posterior, 83, 87; fig. 24; 
cutaneus surae lateraHs, 83-84; 
cutaneus surae medialis, 87; dental, 
inferior, 98; facial, 98-100; nn. 86, 
151; femoral, 83-84; n. 77; fig. 24; 
flexores femoris, 84; fig. 24; genito^ 
femoral, 83; fig. 24; glossopharyn^ 
geal, 183; n. 151; intercostal, 208- 
12, 217; intercostobrachial, 66-67, 
70; interosseus anterior, 71; ischial 
dus, see sciatic; lateral cutaneous, 
see cutaneus brachii lateralis, cu/ 
taneus femoris lateralis, cutaneus 
surae lateralis; lateral pectoral, 221; 
medial cutaneous, see cutaneus anti^ 
brachii medialis, cutaneus brachii 
medialis; cutaneus surae medialis; 
medial pectoral, 22; median, 69-71, 
73-74, 82; fig. 23; musculocu/ 
taneous, 66-71; fig. 23; obturator, 
84-85; fig. 24; peroneus com^ 
munis, 85-87; fig. 24; phrenic, 
218-20, 222, 224; fig. 23; plantar, 
87; radial, 65-66, 68-74, 80, 82; 
fig. 23; recurrent laryngeal, xiv, 
211; n. 32; saphenus, 83-84, 87; 
sciatic, 85-87; spinal accessory, see 
accessory; splanchnic, 142; n. 115; 
sural, 87; tibial, 85-87; fig. 24; 
trigeminal, 98-99, 183; nn. 86, 151; 
ulnar, 69-71, 73-74. 82; fig. 23; 
vagus, 183; n. 151. 

Nicolo da Reggio, n. lo. 
Noricum, 214; n. 168. 
Numisianus, xiv, 2, 205; nn. 14-15. 

Odontoid facet of atlas, 113. 
Oesophagus, 142-3, 155, 184; n. 

Omentum, great, 135, 153, 156-61, 

164; n. 129. 
Ostia, xiv. 

Oxen, 188; n. 156; as anatomical 
subjects, 64, 198, 2i6-^\ n. 94. 

Palestine, xiv; n. 2. 
Pannonia, n. i. 

Pa^io sphinx, see Mandrill; sp., see 

Parenchyma, 166, 179; n. 138; fig. 

Pelops, xiv, 2; nn. 12, 15. 

Pelvis, 37-40» 43-47, 55» 84-85, 90; 

n. 45; fig. 5. 
Pergamum, xiii-xv, 2; nn. 13, 28, 


Pericardium, 173-5, 190-3. 
Peritoneum, 135, 143-4, 154-62, 

168-9, 173, 178, 222-3. 
Perdnax, emperor of Rome, xv. 
Philippus the Empiric, n. 12. 
Phlebotomy, see Venesection. 
Pia mater, 173, 230, 232-3. 
Pigs, 98, 164; as anatomical subjects, 

xxi, 129, 206-7, 218-19; n. 19; 

vivisection of, xxi, 220. 
Pineal body, xix, 233, 235-6; fig. 26. 
Plato, 133, 168, 184; n. 152; works 

of: Republic, n. 140; Sophist, n. 140; 

Statesman, n. 140; Timaeus, nn. 112, 


Pleura, 173-5, 178, 189, 191-2, 194- 

6, 206-8, 222-3; n. 162. 
Plexus, see Brachial, Chorioid, 

Pneuma, xvi, 176-7, 180; nn. 145, 

148, 152, 158. 
Pneumatic School, xv-xvi. 
Pneumothorax, 206-7, 222-5. 

INDEX 287 

Processes: coracoid, of scapula, 68, 
117-18, 127; coronoid, of mandi^- 
ble, 101-2; — , of ulna, 21, 68; 
ensiform, see Xiphoid cartilage; 
malleolar, of fibula, 57; odontoid, 
of axis, 113; pterygoid, of sphenoid, 
102-3; styloid, of ulna, 17, 27; 
zygomatic, of temporal bone, 101-2. 
Processus vaginalis testis, 169. 
Pterygo^maxillary fossa, 102. 
Ptolemais, i. 

Pulse, 90, 175-7, 184, 199-200. 
Pylorus, 158-9, 166; n. 139. 

Quintus, 2, 4, 205; nn. 14, 30, 32. 

Rabin, C, n. 154. 
Rectum, 151, 164, 170; nn. 126, 137, 
fig. 22. 

Renal secretion, theory of, by Lycus, 
n. 30. 

Respiration, action, of diaphragm in, 

203- 5, 212-13, 222-3; n. 166; — , 
of intercostal muscles in, 13 1-3, 

204- 8, 211-13, 217; — , of nervous 
system in, 207-15, 217-19, 221-3; 
— , of pleura in, 195-6, 206-7, 
222-5; — , "bs in, 215-17, 
222-5; — , thoracic muscles in, 
xiv, 128-9, 204-5, 212-13, 217, 
219-21. See also Lungs. 

Retinaculum (retinacula), see Liga^ 

Rhesus monkey ( Macaca mulatta), 
anatomy of, xix, xxiv; nn. 23-24, 
31, 36-39, 47-48, 76, 95, 102; figs. 
5-6, 8-24; as anatomical subject, 
xix, xxi; n. 22; distribution of, xxi; 
fig. I. 

Rigaud, B., xxvi. 

Rode, P., figs. 2-4. 

Rome, xiii-xvi, 2; nn. i, 5, 14, 18. 

Roussin, P., xxvi. 

Royal College of Physicians of Lon-' 

don, xv-xvi. 
Rufus of Ephesus, n. 130. 



Sarton, C, xiii. 
Satyrus, xiii, 2, 4-5; nn. 13-15. 
Sceptic School, xvii. 
Semnopithecus entellus, 45-46; nn. 47, 

Septimus Severus, emperor of Rome, 


Septum lucidum, 232-5. 
Sergius Paulus, xiv, 2; n. 18. 
Sesamoid cartilages, of knee joint, 48; 

n. 47; of tarsus ('os Vesalianum'), 

51; of wrist, 19, 23, 25. 
Sheep, as anatomical subjects, 198. 
Simon, M., xxv. 
Singer, C, xxvi; nn. 20, 154. 
Sinuses, venous, of dura mater, 228-9, 

231; n. 173; fig. 25. 
Smyrna, xiv. 

Snakes, as anatomical subjects, 149. 
Soranus of Ephesus, xvi. 
Soul, Plato on, 133; n. 112. 
Spleen, 151, 157-9, 164-5. 
Stomach, 151, 155-9, 16 1-2, 164. 
Straus, W. L., figs, i, 5, 8-24. 
Styria, n. 168. 

Sulcus, bicipital, 123; cerebral, 237. 
Symphysis, menti, 98, 102-3; n. 92; 
pubis, 38, 47, fig. 5. 

Tela chorioidea, 233. 
Tendo, Achillis, n. 3 1 ; calcaneus, 10, 

Tendons, of lower limb and foot, 7, 
10, 48-52; n. 31; of upper limb and 
hand, 7, 13-16, 23, 25; fig. 14. See 
also Aponeurosis. 

Tentorium cerebelli, 230. 

Testicles, 168-9, 236. 

Theophrastus, n. 42. 

Thorax, dissection of, in cadavers, 
15-18, 120-33, 140-3, 172-89, 
201-3; vivisection of, 189-97, 205- 

Thymus, 179, 185; n. 147. 
Torcular Herophili, 228-9; n. 173; 
fig. 25. 

Trachea, xix, 172, 176, 178-9, 195. 

Trigonum fibrosum, n. 150. 
Tuber, calcanei, 48; n. 31; ischial 
dicum, 39; fig. 5- 

Ureters, 167-9. 
Uterus, 156, 159, 161-2. 

Veins, of brain, 229-33; of liver, 
165-6; of lower limb and foot, 87- 
89; of lungs and heart, 175-7, 
179-80, 184-6, 188-9; of upper 
limb and hand, 74-77, 79-80; 
superficial, 'system' of, 76-77, 89 
and n.; nn. 70-71. See also Bloods 
vessels. Sinuses. 

Veins (named), axillary, 75, 78; 
azygos, 174, 185-6; n. 154; basilic, 
75-76, 78-80; brachial, 80, 82; 
cava inferior, 142, 155, 179-80, 
189; n. 161; fig. 21; cava su^ 
perior, 181, 185-6; nn. 143, 154; 
cephalic, 27-28, 67, 71, 74-76, 
78-80, 125; n. 74; cerebral, great, 
229-33; — , internal, 233; femoral, 
89; gastric, 156; gastroepiploic, 
156; iliac, common, 168; jugular, 
external, 218; mammary, internal, 
1 90-1; median antibrachial, 71, 
78-79; median basilic, 75, 78; 
median cephalic, 78; pancreatico/ 
duodenal, superior, 166-7; peroneal 
89; phrenic, 142; n. 145; portal, 
161, 165; n. 131; pulmonary 
('venous arteries'), xix, 175-80, 
185, 189; n. 143; — , ligation of, 
194-5; renal, 167; saphenous, in/ 
ternal, 88; — , long, 83; — , short, 
89; splenic, 151, 164; subclavian, 
218; testicular, 168-9; ulnar, 79-80. 

Venesection, 61, 77-79; nn. 61, 73, 

Ventricles, of brain, 231-7; n. 176; 
fig. 26; of heart, 175-6, 178, 180, 
185, 187-9, 196-7; nn. 143, 148, 

Vermis of cerebellum, 236-7. 


Vesalius, A., xiii, xvi, xx; nn. lo, 

96; fig. 25. 
Vincula longa, of fingers, 9. 
Vindiciams, n. 42. 

Vivisection, i, 7-8, 106, 176, 189- 

200, 205-26, 234; n. 6. 
Voice, loss of, in vivisection, 206-9, 

211, 215-18. 


Walsh, J., xiii. 

Walzer, R., xiv; n. 12. 

Wax, in materia medica, n. 117. 

Weasels, as anatomical subjects, 148. 

Wellmann, M., n. 42. 

Xiphoid (ensiform) cartilage, 130, 
138, 154, 173, 190-1, 196, 203. 






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